M-real divests the Hallein Pulp mill in Austria to Schweighofer Group
M-real Oyj has signed an agreement to divest the entire share capital in M-real Hallein GmbH to the Schweighofer Group. M-real Hallein GmbH assets consist of the Hallein pulp mill, bioenergy plant, paper mill closed in 2009 and the surrounding estate. The pulp mills annual capacity is approximately 160,000 tonnes of sulphite pulp and the amount of personnel is approximately 200. The debt-free value of the transaction is approximately EUR 34 million and the positive cash impact for M-real approximately EUR 24 million.
The divestment is expected to reduce M-real’s annual sales by approximately EUR 75 million and improve the operating result by approximately EUR 5 million based on Hallein mill’s actual performance in 2010.
“M-real is focusing on cartonboard business and this transaction is a good example of our work to divest the non-core assets. M-real does not use pulp from Hallein in its own board or paper operations and the profitability of the mill as a market pulp supplier has not met our targets. This is a good solution also for the mill as the new owner is in a better position to develop the operation further”, says Mikko Helander, CEO of M-real.
The transaction is subject to the approval of Austrian competition authorities and it is expected to be closed during 3Q 2011. M-real continues to sell Hallein pulp volumes to the market during 12-15 months following closing until the new owner has established their own sales organization and systems.
As a result of the transaction, M-real will classify Hallein according to IFRS 5 as Asset Held for Sale and recognizes it to its fair value. Market Pulp and Energy business area’s 2Q 2011 operating result is expected to include an approximately EUR 50 million negative non-recurring item.
The Schweighofer Group is a family owned, Austrian based holding company with companies in different branches and countries. The main focus of the group is forest industry.