Oji Paper Buys 33% Stake in Mitsubishi Paper Mills

Tokyo, Japan 13 February 2018 -- Responding to the pressure of structural change on the Japanese as well as international paper markets, Oji Holdings Corporation will acquire a larger stake in Mitsubishi Paper Mills Ltd., leveraging synergy effects to cut costs. Oji will buy new as well as existing shares to acquire 33% of the voting rights in Mitsubishi Paper, which will be managed in future as an affiliate company of Oji. The two companies each expect to save ¥2.5bn (roughly €19m) in costs in 2021. All necessary transactions for the merger will be completed by the end of next year.

Especially in the context of Mitsubishi Paper's businesses in Germany, the two companies announced that already commenced restructuring activities would be continued and that all or a part of the shares of Mitsubishi Paper's German subsidiary are to be transferred between the two companies. Business perspectives for Mitsubishi Paper alone in Germany would be difficult in the medium to long term, the two companies said in a press announcement.

The Japanese market for printing and writing paper is severely affected by receding birth rates, ageing of the population and growing prevalence of new information and communication technologies, the joint press release added. In Japan, demand for printing and writing paper has reportedly receded by around 30% in recent years. In response, Japanese papermakers have redoubled their efforts to improve their cost structure and reduce excess production capacity. Concurrently and especially in Asia, production facilities have been upgraded to state-of-the-art technology in many countries in response to economic growth and the resulting demand for paper. To some extent, these facilities have established a presence on the Japanese market, reveal analyses conducted by the two companies.



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