18.3.2004: Meldung: Stora Enso finalises the ownership restructuring of its forestlands in Sweden and Canada
Stora Enso has finalised the transaction to restructure ownership of its Swedish forestlands announced in December 2003. The majority of shares in Bergvik Skog AB have been sold to institutional investors. The main equity investors besides Stora Enso and its partner in this transaction, Korsnäs, include Länsförsäkringar-Liv, Tredje AP-fonden, Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation and Nordea Liv. The chairman of the Board of Directors of Bergvik Skog AB will be Hans Jonsson, nominated by Länsförsäkringar-Liv. Following the sale, Stora Enso and Korsnäs retain 43.3% and 5% shareholdings respectively in Bergvik Skog.
A debt facility of SEK 11.1 billion (EUR 1.2 billion) has been provided by a syndicate of international banks, arranged by Nordea and Handelsbanken.
The enterprise value of Stora Enso"s part is SEK 14.9 billion (EUR 1.6 billion). This will result in a net reduction in interest-bearing net liabilities of about SEK 10.0 billion (EUR 1.1 billion) after the investment in the associated company Bergvik Skog AB and a net increase in equity of about SEK 3.3 billion (EUR 350 million), of which SEK 1.0 billion (EUR 113 million) will be shown as capital gain in operating profit in the first quarter of 2004. The proceeds will be used to develop the Group"s core business areas, mainly outside Europe and North America.
The transaction will improve the Group"s debt/equity ratio by about 0.15. This ratio was 0.48 as at 31 December 2003. The operating profit will be reduced by about EUR 100 million on an annual basis, offset by lower financial charges due to the reduction of interest-bearing net liabilities and by income from associates.
The Swedish forests of Stora Enso were transferred to Bergvik Skog, which has entered into long-term wood supply contracts to grant Stora Enso approximately 4.5 million cubic metres (solid under bark) per year of cutting rights at market prices. Bergvik Skog will maintain the former owners" environmental certifications and sustainable forestry policies.
The calculations have been made at the EUR/SEK exchange rate of 9.2435 on 15 March 2004. The euro sums might fluctuate due to exchange rate changes.
Stora Enso has divested also its 146 000 hectares of forestland in Ontario, Canada according to plan. Approximately EUR 18 million of operating capital was released, and the transaction does not have any result effect on Q1/2004.
For further information, please contact:
Björn Hägglund, Deputy CEO, tel. +46 70 528 2785
Johan Lindman, Senior Vice President, Stora Enso Wood Supply Sweden,
tel. +46 23 78 24 40
Bo Eriksson, Senior Vice President, Controller, tel. +358 40 532 1494
Kari Vainio, Executive Vice President, Corporate Communications, tel.
+44 7799 348 197
Keith Russell, Senior Vice President, Investor Relations, tel. +44
7775 788 659
Ulla Paajanen-Sainio, Vice President, Investor Relations and
tel. +358 2046 21242
Stora Enso is an integrated paper, packaging and forest products company producing publication and fine papers, packaging boards and wood products, areas in which the Group is a global market leader. Stora Enso sales totalled EUR 12.2 billion in 2003. The Group has some 44 000 employees in more than 40 countries in five continents and an annual production capacity of 15.7 million tonnes of paper and board and 7.4 million cubic metres of sawn wood products, including 2.8 million cubic metres of value-added products. Stora Enso"s shares are listed in Helsinki, Stockholm and New York.
Stora Enso Oyj
Business ID 1039050-8
00160 Helsinki, Finland
P.O. Box 309
FIN-00101 Helsinki, Finland
Tel.: +358 2046 131
Fax: +358 2046 21471
Stora Enso Oyj
Business ID 1039050-8