Stora Enso makes a packaging acquisition amid two paper-production divestitures

Paperboard-based packaging converter Stora Enso has been busy lately, making one corrugated-packaging acquisition and divesting two paper-production sites.

Stora Enso acquired De Jong Packaging Group, based in the Netherlands, for about $1 billion. The purchase will advance Stora Enso’s strategic direction, accelerate revenue growth and build market share in renewable packaging in Europe. De Jong Packaging Group is one of the largest corrugated-packaging producers in the Benelux countries. Its product portfolio and geographic presence will complement and enhance Stora Enso’s offering, especially in fresh produce, e-commerce and industrial packaging.

The acquisition of De Jong Packaging Group will significantly strengthen Stora Enso’s European market presence in corrugated packaging and provide an entry into the Netherlands, Belgium, Germany and the UK. With this acquisition, Stora Enso’s Packaging Solutions division will increase its corrugated packaging capacity by approximately 1.2 billion sq meters to more than 2.0 billion sq meters, including De Jong Packaging Group’s ongoing expansion projects.

Details of the two divestitures include:

Stora Enso has signed an agreement to divest its Nymölla paper production site in Sweden, and all related assets to Sylvamo, a US-based global producer of uncoated paper. The enterprise value is about $155 million. Closing is expected in the beginning of 2023. 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.

Sylvamo’s plan is to integrate the Nymölla site into its global paper business, and the 520 employees in the mill organization at Nymölla will be part of the transaction. The Nymölla site’s capacity is 485,000 tonnes of woodfree, uncoated office papers, with Multicopy as the leading paper brand.

Stora Enso has also 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 $215 million. Closing is also expected in the beginning of next year.

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 organization 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.