UPM Continues to Seek Buyers for Docelles Paper Mill and Aigrefeuille Wood Products Plant

UPM's Docelles paper mill in eastern France, has the capacity to produce 160,000 tpy of uncoated fine paper.

July 18, 2013 - UPM said that it is continuing to seek buyers for its Docelles paper mill and Aigrefeuille further processing mill in France.

Currently, UPM has received a conditional offer for the Aigrefeuille mill, but is still working with interested parties to develop a credible offer for the Docelles mill.

Located in Western France, the Aigrefeuille mill produces interior and exterior panels. UPM acquired the mill in 1999. The annual capacity of Aigrefeuille is 45,000 m3 of wood products and employs about 45 people.

"According to the legal process, the Aigrefeuille conditional offer will now be submitted to employee information and consultation. We expect to finalize the process by mid-September,", said Anssi Klinga, Senior Vice President, UPM Timber.

The Docelles paper mill manufactures uncoated fine paper with the annual capacity of 160,000 tonnes. Located in Eastern France the mill employs about 160 people.

"As for UPM Docelles mill, UPM has been conducting an active search for a buyer which could offer a credible future for the mill," said Jyrki Ovaska, President of the UPM Paper Business Group. "Unfortunately the general economic climate in Europe is not favouring our process and it is very challenging to attract investors to new initiatives."

UPM said that it will continue the sales processes but at the same time the company will initiate an employee information and consultation process with the Central Workers’ Council of UPM France on two alternatives — the sale or permanent closure of the two mills.

The consultation process will also include streamlining measures in functions in France, UPM added.

UPM said the mills will continue production until the employee consultation has been concluded, and customer deliveries are not expected to be impacted.

UPM's plan to sell or close the Docelles mill as well as the functional streamlining was originally announced on January 17 of this year, and is part of the company's plan to adjust its graphic paper capacity and support operations to match the declining demand in Europe.

UPM’s plan to sell the Aigrefeuille mill, also announced on January 17, follows the in 2012 renewed Timber business strategy. UPM noted that it focuses on the development of sawmills closely integrated with the company’s pulp and paper mills.

UPM consists of three Business Groups: Energy and pulp, Paper, and Engineered materials. The Group employs around 22,000 people. UPM is present in 67 countries and has production units in 17 countries. UPM's annual sales exceed EUR 10 billion. For further information, visit: www.upm.com

SOURCE: UPM