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Norske Skog to Sell Stake in Catalyst Paper

Jan. 31, 2006 - Norwegian paper producer Norske Skog said that it has agreed to sell all of its 63 million shares of the Canadian paper maker, Catalyst Paper. The shares represent a 29.4% stake in British Columbia, Canada-based Catalyst.

Norske Skog expects proceeds of the sale to be about NOK 1,080 million, but said the sale will yield an accounting loss of roughly NOK 730 million on the book value.

A subsidiary of UBS Securities Canada Inc (UBS) has agreed to buy the shares for CAD 2.98 each, Norske Skog said. Closing of the transaction is expected in mid-February.

Norske Skog indicated that the sale of the shares will enhance the company's ability to seek other global opportunites. "Even if this transaction causes a significant loss, it is the right thing to do for Norske Skog," said Jan Oksum, president and CEO of Norske Skog. "Through this, we will improve our possibilites to strengthen our activities in Europe, Asia, Australasia and South America."

SOURCE: Norske Skog




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