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Metsä Group finalizes sale of Russian subsidiaries to VLP Group

FINLAND (News release) -- Metsä Group has finalized the transfer of its Russian subsidiaries, including Metsä Svir LLC, Metsä Forest St. Petersburg LLC, Metsä Forest Podporozhye LLC, and Metsä Board Rus LLC, to VLP Group as of 13 May 2024. Following this transaction, Metsä Group no longer holds any assets in Russia, the company said in a statement. The terms of the deal, including the purchase price, remain confidential between the parties.

VLP Group (Vologodskie Lesopromyshlenniki Group), a key player in the forestry and forest industry primarily in the Vologda region of Russia, had earlier associations with Metsä Group, sharing minority ownership from 2003 to 2017. This acquisition marks a significant shift in Metsä Group's operational focus away from the Russian market, aligning with its cessation of business activities there since 2022. The decision came after the halting of operations at the Metsä Svir sawmill and discontinuation of wood procurement and paperboard sales following the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

The subsidiaries involved in the transaction have faced substantial financial declines. In 2022, Metsä Svir LLC reported revenues of 1.5 billion rubles ($16.6 million), a drastic fall from previous years, positioning it at a ten-year low. Similarly, Metsä Forest Podporozhye's revenues dipped to 1.3 billion rubles ($13.5 million). The production capacity of the Metsä Svir sawmill, one of the transferred assets, stood at 300,000 m3 annually.

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