Stora Enso has signed an agreement to divest its Maxau paper production site in Germany, and all related assets to Schwarz Produktion, part of Schwarz Group, one of the top retailers in the world. The enterprise value is approximately EUR 210 million. Closing is expected in the beginning of 2023, at the latest, subject to regulatory approvals.
This transaction is part of the earlier announced plan to divest four of Stora Enso’s five paper production sites. In line with its strategy, Stora Enso’s focus is on long-term growth potential for its renewable products in packaging, building solutions and biomaterials innovations.
“We are very pleased with this agreement, as it fulfils our goal of providing a sustainable long-term future for the Maxau site and its employees. We will continue with the divestment process for the remaining three paper assets; Nymölla, Hylte and Anjala,” says Seppo Parvi, CFO and Head of Paper division at Stora Enso.
Schwarz Produktion is expected to assume ownership for the Maxau site in the beginning of 2023. Schwarz’s plan is to continue paper production at the site, and the 440 employees belonging to the mill organisation at Maxau will be part of the transaction. Stora Enso will continue to operate the Maxau site and serve its supercalendered paper (SC) customers until the closing of the transaction.
The transaction will reduce Stora Enso’s annual SC paper capacity by 530,000 tonnes. Based on the 2021 figures, the divestment is expected to reduce Stora Enso’s annual sales by approximately EUR 250 million. Subject to closing date adjustments, Stora Enso will book a one-time disposal gain of approximately EUR 50 million, in its IFRS operating profit in the first quarter of 2023, considered as an item affecting comparability.
The divestment process continues for the remaining paper sites in Nymölla, Hylte and Anjala with no committed timeline for conclusion. The process has no immediate effect on Stora Enso’s paper operations which continue to serve their respective customers. There is a feasibility study ongoing at the Langerbrugge site for the potential conversion of one of the two paper lines into a containerboard line. Stora Enso continues to serve its Langerbrugge paper customers at least until the end of 2024.
Stora Enso currently has five paper production sites. In total, the Paper division currently employs approximately 2,300 employees. In 2021, Paper division’s net sales amounted to EUR 1,703 million.
BofA Securities acted as Stora Enso’s financial advisor on this transaction.
About Schwarz Produktion
Schwarz Produktion is the umbrella brand for the production companies of Schwarz Group. In total, more than 4,500 employees in the Schwarz Produktion companies produce high-quality food as well as sustainable packaging and materials for the retail companies Lidl and Kaufland. In addition to mineral water and soft drinks, the Schwarz Produktion companies also produce chocolate, dried fruit, baked goods, coffee and ice cream. In addition, three plastic and recycling plants are a central component of a unique PET materials cycle.