Stora Enso moves to acquire forest assets
One of Europe’s largest private sector forest owners and a major player in the bioeconomy, Bergvik Skog is undergoing structural changes as part of a plan to acquire new forest assets and secure its supply of feedstock.
Bergvik Skog owns approximately 2.3 million hectares of land in Sweden and about 0.1 million hectares in Latvia. As well as certified wood fibre sales and leasing out land for hunting and fishing, Bergvik Skog contributes to the use of renewable energy through the production of biofuels from forest feedstocks.
Shareholders representing 98% of the owners in the Swedish forest holding company have agreed to initiate discussions, based on a non-binding letter of intent, aimed at structural changes within the Bergvik Skog Group. These shareholders are Stora Enso, Länsförsäkringar, FAM, BillerudKorsnäs, Kåpan Pension, Tredje AP-fonden, Persson Invest, Karl Hedin AB and Tham Invest.
“The wood supply agreement with Bergvik Skog, established 15 years ago, expires next year,” said Karl-Henrik Sundström, CEO of Stora Enso.
“Together with our partners, we have had a successful journey which now comes to an end. The planned transaction is a natural next step for us, as we strongly believe in the bioeconomy and want to secure our competitive raw material supply in the long term. We will seek support from the remaining 2% outstanding shareholders as well as all other relevant stakeholders.”
Bergvik Skog’s Swedish forest assets are owned by its subsidiaries Bergvik Väst and Bergvik Öst, representing approximately 83% and 17% respectively. As a result of the planned restructuring, Stora Enso would transform its current ownership of 49.3% in Bergvik Skog, to a direct holding of approximately 70% of the value of the forest assets in Bergvik Väst.
Approximately 15% of Bergvik Väst would be directly owned by FAM, and approximately 15% directly owned by a consortium of smaller shareholders. BillerudKorsnäs would acquire Bergvik Öst. The remaining assets of Bergvik Skog would be liquidated or contributed to the forest holding entities.