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Cascades' European recycled cartonboard assets have been merged into Italy's Reno De Medici (ROM). The deal was finalized on February 26 and went into effect on March 1, following its recent approval by German and Italian anti-trust regulators.

The union sees RDM becoming the sec­ond biggest recycled cartonboard producer in Europe. Its capacity of about 1.1 million tonnes/yr is surpassed by Austria's Mayr­Melnhof, at 1.7 million tonnes/yr.

Cascades' recycled carton board assets, including mills in Blendecques, France, and Arnsberg, Germany, as well as its sheeting facility in Wednesbury, UK, will be absorbed into RDM in exchange for I 15.6 million of the Italian company's normal shares, or about 33% of its total of 377.8 million share volume.

The Cascades mills have a combined capacity of about 350,000 tonnes/yr, while RDM's six facilities in Italy and Spain have a total capacity of approximately 750,000 tonnes/yr.



AHLSTROM CEO RESIGNS Ahlstrom's president and CEO, Jukka Moisio, has stepped down after serving the firm for 17 years. He will remain at the com­pany's disposal until August 28.

Ahlstrom's board of directors has appoint­ed Risto Anttonen, senior vice president, commercial operations, to act as interim CEO as it searches for someone to fill the position.

Meanwhile, Moisio will become the new CEO of Huhtamaki. He will start on August 29 at the latest.


Stora enso to divest papyrus to altor fund II

Stora Enso has signed an agreement to sell off its wholly-owned paper and packaging merchant business Papyrus to the private equity fund Altor Fund II for Euro 640 mil­lion ($983 million). The transaction is expected to be finalized during the second quarter, subject to customary statutory approvals.

The deal consists of approximately Euro 490 milJion ($768 million) in cash, some Euro 93 million ($146 million)ofnet liabili­ties assumed by the purchaser and a vendor note ofEuro 57 million ($89 million). No material book-value gain or loss expects to be recorded in connection with the transac­tion. The cash proceeds from the transaction will be used to pay down Stora Enso's debt.

The divestment, which includes a long­term supply agreement with Papyrus, is part of Stora Enso's strategy to focus on its core businesses.

over the next few years and develop a European market leader in paper and pack­aging distribution. The deal will enable Papyrus to pursue additional acquisitions in existing and new markets as well as within new product areas.


The merchant will continue to be headed by the existing management team. Mats Nordlander will remain the head of Papyrus for a transitional period following the end of the transaction to ensure a smooth han­dover of the business to a new CEO. During this time, Nordlander will also remain the head of Stora Enso's consumer board busi­ness area and a member of the executive team.

Altor Fund II, which is advised by Altor Equity Partners, aims to grow the company




UPM is forging ahead with the construction of a new biofuel power plant at its Kaukas mill in Lappeenranta, eastern Finland.

The laying of the cornerstone took place in March. The project is slightly ahead of schedule. Construction work started in July and the new plant is scheduled to come online in spring 2010. FosterWheeler is sup­piymg a 385- :V!Wtlhr circulating fluidized­bed boiler island. The project will cost Buro 244 million ($375 million).

The plant will generate process heat as well as electricity for UPM's Kaukas mill, and electricity and district heating for the town of Lappeenrannan. The plant's energy sources will be bark and forest biomass ­logging residues, stumps and wood thin­nings as well as peat.

The joint investment IS being carried out by Kaukaan Voima, which is owned by Pohjolan Voima (54%) and Lappeenrannan Energia (46%), a city-owned power company.

UpM owns 42% of Pohjolan Voima with the remaining shares split between smaller shareholders. including Stora Enso (16%).

The new equipment will replace the old steam power unit of the Kaukas mill and the majority of the energy generation capacity of Lappeenrannan Uimp6voima's old Mertaniemi power plant. It will improve the security of energy supply to the Kaukas facil­ity and secure district heat supply for Lappeenranta citizens.

UPM manufactures 580,000 tonnes/yr of coated mechanical paper at the Kaukas facil­ity. The site also features a plywood plant and sawmill, as well as a new research and development center.



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