Montevideo, Chile, 18 May 2009 -- Chilean company Arauco and Finnish Swedish transnational Stora Enso signed an agreement for the joint purchase, in equal shares, of a total of 130,000 hectares of forest land, plantations, and other operations owned by Spanish business group ENCE in the central and eastern areas of Uruguay. The transaction price is approximately USD 343 million.
“Uruguay has exceptional conditions for the growth of fiber plantations and its forestry sector is developing at a great speed. We are pleased to participate in this development, together with Stora Enso,” said Matías Domeyko, ARAUCO’s CEO.
To date, Stora Enso and ARAUCO own 74,000 hectares and 39,000 hectares of land in Uruguay, respectively. Following this purchase from ENCE, the joint total surface of forest land will reach 255,000 hectares.
“This is a very important step in Stora Enso’s strategy, fundamentally based on plantations and raw material for pulp, at a competitive price. Joining forces with ARAUCO, we have reached a surface of 123,000 plantation hectares in Uruguay. This ensures the strategic base of raw material supply for a world class pulp mill that we are looking to build together with ARAUCO, once the feasibility and investment studies are complete, and when economic and financial conditions justify an investment of this nature. That investment decision will require formal approval from both partners and authorities in Uruguay,” said Jouko Karvinen, Stora Enso’s CEO.
The purchase of ENCE’s operations includes industrial sites in Punta Pereira and M'Bopicuá, a port and barge station, a chip mill and a nursery, and the incorporation of their respective organizations.
Stora Enso is a Finnish-Swedish company that forms part of the Dow Jones Sustainability Index. It owns production facilities in Europe, South America, and Asia, and has a presence in more than 35 countries. Its annual production capacity reaches 12.7 million tons of pulp and paper and a sawn timber production capacity of more than 6.9 million cubic meters. Stora Enso employs a total of 29,000 people around the world and had sales of EUR 11.0 billion (nearly USD 14,850 million) in 2008.