Sappi sets date to close M-real graphic papers arm deal

The South African paper manufacturer announced its agreement to purchase the business from M-real for €750m ($A1.35bn) in September.

The deal includes the sale of the Kangas, Kirkniemi, Biberist and Stockstadt mills, which has a total coated paper production capacity of around 1.9m tonnes per annum.

This could mean that Sappi would command up to 30% of the market in Europe. However, group head of corporate affairs Andre Oberholzer, said that while this is what Sappi anticipates, “it is too early to comment”.

Sappi chief executive Ralph Boëttger said the company’s next objective is to secure the successful integration of the M-real business into Sappi.

He said the deal would enhance Sappi’s global presence, provide an opportunity to increase its customer base, and increase the range of products offered.

Sappi also expects benefits from increased profitability and returns and improved cash flows for the group. It is expected that the acquisition will be completed on 31 December 2008.

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