Segezha Group has agreed to acquire a 100% stake in LLC Inter Forest Rus, which comprises 24 forest industry assets and a substantial forest resource base in the Krasnoyarsk and Irkutsk regions, Russia, from Bonum Capital Ltd for $515 million. The transaction is expected to close in 1Q 2022 following customary regulatory and corporate approvals, as well as fulfilment of other conditions precedent agreed by the parties.
As a result of the transaction Segezha Group will strengthen its position as a leading producer of sawntimber in Russia and Europe, and will become a global top-10 producer in the segment. At the same time, the Company will almost double its annual allowable cut (AAC) to 23.6 million m3 and become one of the world’s largest lease-holders of forest land with 16 million ha of forests under management.
Inter Forest’s assets include wood processing and logging enterprises, including four woodworking plants and one plywood plant, as well as a river fleet of 98 vessels. Inter Forest has an AAC of approximately 10.9 million m3.
Mikhail Shamolin, President of Segezha Group, said: “This is a transformational transaction for Segezha Group and one that will enable us to take a significant step in developing our assets. Combined with our Lesosibirsk plant and the recent consolidation of the Novoeniseisk Wood-Chemical Complex, we will be able to create a powerful Siberian cluster to complement our long-established hub in the northwest of Russia. This will enable us to expand our geographical footprint and strengthen our offering of high-value-added products to end-customers, including in the fast-growing Chinese market.”
As a result of the transaction, Segezha Group’s sawn timber production capacity will almost double to 3,221 ths m3 (+1,500 ths m3). Pellet production capacity will grow by 1.8x to 380 ths t (+170 ths t). At the same time, the Company’s plywood production capacity will increase by 35-40 ths m3 to 232 ths m3.
The established transport infrastructure and river fleet of the acquired assets will create additional synergies for optimising raw materials supplies to Segezha Group’s Siberian assets, which will ensure a high level of self-sufficiency in raw wood.
Growth of the forest resources base and the presence of developed logistical infrastructure will form the base for the future creation of Segezha East, a modern pulp-and-paper plant in Krasnoyarsk region.
Segezha Group will continue to develop its customer base thanks to Inter Forest’s links with partners in Russia, China, Japan, Egypt, the CIS and Europe. The Company will focus in particular on fast-growing markets in Asia. Segezha Group estimates that the combined company may account for approximately 10% of Russian sawn timber exports to Asia, and plans to further grow sales to this region going forward.