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Copec to sell forestry units to Brazil's Klabin in billion dollar deal

CHILE (From news reports) -- Chilean industrial conglomerate Empresas Copec announced on Wednesday that it has agreed to sell some of its forestry businesses to Brazilian pulp and paper company Klabin in a deal worth some $1.16 billion.

Copec said that it would sell, through its forestry subsidiary Arauco, a series of forestry units which own assets largely in the Brazilian state of Parana, which together Copec referred to as Sociedades Forestales Brasilenas.

In a separate statement, Klabin said the deal includes 150,000 hectares (370,658 acres) in Parana state, around 56% of which it considers productive land, as well as 31.5 million metric tons of standing wood, equipment and machinery.

Klabin said the deal should help it purchase less wood from third parties, cutting costs and helping it reach its self-sufficiency targets.

The deal comes as Copec has struggled with slumping earnings, dipping into the red last quarter, as its forestry business suffered from floods, drought and forest fires as the region faces more extreme weather due to the weather phenomenon known as El Nino, coupled with the effects of climate change.

Copec said the sale does not include industrial assets tied to wood panel plants Arauco holds in Brazil, or other forestry assets across the state of Mato Grasso do Sul.

The closing price is subject to regulatory approvals including authorization from Brazil's antitrust watchdog CADE, Copec said, and could depend on factors such as the quantity of wood present when the deal closes.

If the deal is finalised, it should have a positive impact of some $130 million after taxes on Arauco's 2024 results, according to preliminary estimates cited by Copec.

Klabin has updated its initial forecasts to include a new project. The company now expects its investments (capex) to reduce to 3.3 billion reais ($671.54 million) in 2024, from the earlier projection of 4.5 billion reais, attributed to decreases in both Forestry and Standing Wood Purchase. Capex is expected at 3.1 billion reais in 2025.

With the project's integration, Klabin forecasts annual capex will fall to 2.5 billion reais from 2028. The company also anticipates a reduction in total cash cost, projecting annual savings between 350 and 400 million reais from 2025 through 2028.


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