Sappi and Aurelius could not agree to finalise the deal after external conditions of the transaction have changed.
Sappi Limited’s plan to sell three paper mills in Europe to the Germany-based investment and turnaround company Aurelius Group has failed. The intended divestment of the Kirkniemi, Stockstadt and Maastricht facilities “was not completed within the agreed timeframe of the contractual agreement”. The parties were “unable to agree to satisfy the conditions precedent” and therefore the agreement lapsed, Sappi said.
Aurelius confirmed the failure of the transaction. Unfortunately, it could not be concluded “due to changes in the external framework conditions”, a company spokesperson stated.
Sappi and Aurelius had entered into an agreement on the sale of the three graphic paper mills in Finland, Germany and the Netherlands in September last year. The trancation received green light from the EU competition authority last December and the deal was originally expected to be finalised in the first quarter of 2023, but was then postponed to the second quarter 2023, and finally cancelled.
According to Sappi Europe CEO Marco Eikelenboom, Sappi will “continue to manage the three mills as part of [its] overall portfolio and ensure that they continue to deliver value to the region and the customers they serve.”
Sappi Kirkniemi houses three paper machines and is geared for a production capacity of 750,000 tpy of coated mechanical paper, mostly LWC and MWC, in basis weights from 35 to 100 g/m². The mill can also produce 300,000 tpy of bleached mechanical pulp.
At the Stockstadt mill in Germany Sappi produces 220,000 of woodfree uncoated and coated paper and up to 145,000 tpy of bleached chemical pulp. In 2022, Sappi Stockstadt sold some 22,000 tpy of market pulp. The mill in Maastricht is not integrated and runs one machine with an installed capacity of 260,000 tpy of woodfree coated paper and board for packaging and graphic applications.