Norwegian politicians can stop big forest deal
Orkla's sale of Borregaard is called the forestry deal of the century in the Nordic countries. Norwegian group Orkla's sale of forest company Borregaard, where Swedish company Bergvik Skog has been mentioned as prospective buyer, has become business for the Norwegian Government, wrote Swedish provinciap newspaper "Dalarnas Tidningar". The offer period expired in mid-September, and the Swedes are expected to offer 20-30 percent better price because there are higher forest prices in Sweden compared with the prices across the border in the neighbour country.
Bergvik Skog and a few more Swedish companies in Norway are singled out as those who are best placed to buy Orkla's forest companies Borregaard. But now there are political voices proclaiming the Norwegian State Forest Company Statskog should be allowed to buy at exorbitant prices to stop the Swedes.
The affair has become a Norwegian government issue. According to Dalarnas Tidningar has several politicians from the governing parties demanded that the Norwegian state should buy forestry company for Statsskog AS, possibly with money from the Norwegian State Pension fund. This requirement is supported by the Red-Green parties and the anti-immigration party Fremskrittspartiet.
Norwegian Conservatives now presses on to get a clearance from the government after the politicians in the governing parties demanded that the state must approve the Norwegian government pushes extra money so that Statskog AS may make an offer to overcharge. Fremskrittspartiet and the Red-Green Party wants Norwegian ownership.
Orkla has nothing to say about the price tag but it is a billion business. Stora Enso and Korsnäs common forest companies Bergvik Skog, headquartered in Falun has been identified as the main candidate, but a range of companies are participating in the bidding.
In both Sweden and Norway there are state-owned forestry companies, which are the largest forest owner. Swedish Sveaskog owns 4.3 million hectares in Sweden and Norweigian state owned company Statskog owns 6.5 million hectares in Norway. Bergvik Skog is Sweden's second largest private forestry company with 1.9 million hectares in Sweden and additional 35 0000 ha in Lettland. In Norway Borregaard Skoger is ranked as the third largest private forest owner with 110 000 hectares.