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NewPage to Acquire Stora Enso North America
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Miamisburg, Ohio, USA, 21 September 2007 -- /PRNewswire/ -- NewPage Corporation and Stora Enso Oyj (NYSE:SEO) today announced the signing of a definitive agreement by which the NewPage parent company, NewPage Holding Corporation, will acquire Stora Enso's paper manufacturing operations in North America.

Under the terms of the agreement, Stora Enso will receive approximately USD 1.5 billion in cash, a USD 200 million note, and a 19.9% equity interest in the new company. The transaction is subject to customary regulatory approvals and is expected to close during the first quarter of 2008.

"We are excited about the acquisition as it is clearly part of our strategic vision to lower our overall cost and accelerate our ability to achieve sustainable financial returns above our cost of capital," said Mark A. Suwyn, chairman and chief executive officer of NewPage. "This is also important in order to help us compete with illegally dumped and subsidized foreign imports."

For the year 2006, Stora Enso North America generated USD 2.0 billion in revenue and an adjusted EBITDA of USD 295 million. During that same time, the combined company on a proforma basis would have generated USD 4.1 billion in revenue and an adjusted EBITDA of USD 583 million.

The combination is expected to generate approximately USD 265 million in annualized cost savings. "These cost savings combined with our increased scale will enable us to make further high-return investments in lower cost capacity, increase supply chain efficiencies and product availability, and enhance environmental leadership," said Rick Willett, president and chief operating officer of NewPage. "Today, both companies enjoy leading reputations for high-quality products and superior customer service, and we believe the integration will provide our customers with a stronger, more efficient platform for improvements to product and service quality as well as new product innovation."

"This combination is very exciting for the SENA team due to the expanded scale and capabilities for our customers and a stronger platform for all of our employees," said John Gillen, president and regional manager of the North America Region for Stora Enso North America. "We're enthusiastic about working together with a NewPage team that shares the same cultural values of customer focus and continuous improvement through the engagement of all employees."

The new company will retain the NewPage name and will be headquartered in Miamisburg, Ohio. Goldman, Sachs & Co. acted as exclusive financial advisor to NewPage Corporation and Goldman Sachs and its affiliates are providing committed financing to support the transaction. Schulte, Roth & Zabel LLP acted as legal advisor to NewPage Corporation.

Conference Call

The NewPage Corporation will host a conference call and webcast 21 September 2007. The live conference call and presentation slides may be accessed on the NewPage Web site at www.NewPageCorp.com. Click on the link to the call on the home page and follow the instructions to access the webcast in listen and view mode.

Analysts and investors may participate in the live conference call by dialing 800-398-9389 with (toll-free domestic) or 612-332-0335 (international). A replay of the call can be accessed via telephone 800-475-6701 (toll-free domestic) or 320-365-3844 (international), access code: 888491. The replay will be available until noon (Eastern Time) on 26 October 2007.

About NewPage Corporation

NewPage Corporation, headquartered in Miamisburg, Ohio, is a leading U.S. producer of coated papers in North America. The company produces coated papers in sheets and rolls with many finishes and weights to offer design flexibility for a wide array of end uses. With more than 4300 employees, NewPage operates integrated pulp and paper manufacturing mills located in Escanaba, Michigan; Luke, Maryland; Rumford, Maine; and Wickliffe, Kentucky; and a converting and distribution center in Chillicothe, Ohio. The mills have a combined annual capacity of approximately 2.2 million tons of coated paper.

About Stora Enso Oyj

Stora Enso is an integrated paper, packaging, and forest products company, producing publication and fine paper, packaging board, and wood products--all areas in which the Group is a global market leader. Stora Enso's sales totaled EUR 14.6 billion in 2006. The Group has some 44,000 employees in more than 40 countries on five continents. Stora Enso has an annual production capacity of 18.2 million tons of paper and board and 7.4 million cubic meters of sawn wood products, including 3.2 million cubic meters of value-added products. Stora Enso's shares are listed in Helsinki, Stockholm, and New York.

The sale of Stora Enso North America Inc., which comprises Stora Enso's publication and fine paper operations in North America, will reduce the Group's annual production capacity by 3.0 million tons and the number of personnel by 4350. Stora Enso is retaining Corenso North American operations and the associated company Thiele Kaolin Company Inc. Corenso produces cores and coreboard for industrial use in various fields of business and Thiele produces china clay for the paper industry.

The Stora Enso North America business moving to NewPage will include the Stora Enso papermaking operations in Biron, Kimberly, Niagara, Stevens Point, Whiting and Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin; Duluth, Minnesota; and Port Hawkesbury, Nova Scotia, Canada.

Stora Enso North America is a leading producer of coated and supercalendered papers, and a premier producer of specialty papers. Other products include newsprint, elemental chlorine-free kraft pulp, totally chlorine-free mechanical pulp, and recycled pulp from recovered paper. The company produces 3.0 million tons of paper annually and had revenues of USD 2.3 billion with about 4350 employees in 2006.

Source: NewPage Corporation


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