Helsinki, Finland 24 May 2013 -- Three companies are seriously interested in acquiring Stora Enso's Corbehem mill in France by now, according to French Minister of Industrial Renewal Arnaud Montebourg. The minister does not rule out a conversion of the mill.
Three serious potential buyers have been identified for Stora Enso's Corbehem LWC paper mill in France so far, reported the French Minister of Industrial Renewal Arnaud Montebourg during a session of the National Assembly. Stora Enso did not wish to comment on the matter. The company had announced in October 2012 that it considered the sale of the mill.
According to Mr Montebourg, all possible options for the site are currently being examined. He said the government intended to promote a takeover strategy and the conversion of the site, for example to packaging paper production. "This has worked for the M-real Alizay mill in the Eure department and the Stracel plant in Strasbourg, why not for the Corbehem mill?", the minister said adding that he was optimistic about a successful outcome.
Mr Montebourg said PM 5 at Corbehem which has a capacity of 330,000 tpy was one of the top ten high performance machines in Europe. However, the mill had produced only 267,000 t of paper in 2012 and was expected to produce 254,000 t in 2013 while profitability could only be achieved when production reached the 285,000 t mark, he added.
The planned sale of the Corbehem site is not Stora Enso's only measure in the graphic paper sector. At the end of 2012, the company shut down PM 1 at its Hylte mill in Sweden with a capacity of 180,000 tpy of newsprint . Furthermore, the paper manufacturer intends to close two other newsprint machines – PM 2 in Hylte (205,000 tpy) and PM 11 in Kvarnsveden (270,000 tpy) – for good in the second quarter of this year. The two machines are currently down for market related reasons.