In Russia, UPM owned the Chudovo plywood mill in the Novgorod region. Chudovo produces birch plywood for construction, transport engineering and gas tankers. In 2021, the plant's revenue reached 8.2 billion rubles (about $105 million).

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Swedish entrepreneur Martin Hermansson acquires UPM assets in Russia

Swedish entrepreneur Martin Hermansson acquires UPM assets in Russia

Image: Martin Hermansson / Lesnaya Industiya Journal

UPM's wood processing assets in Russia have been acquired by Swedish entrepreneur Martin Hermansson, a source close to the deal told Lesprom Network. In a chat with a representative of Lesprom Network, Martin Hermansson declined to comment on the deal, as well as to confirm or deny the acquisition of UPM assets.

In Russia, UPM owned the Chudovo plywood mill in the Novgorod region. Chudovo produces birch plywood for construction, transport engineering and gas tankers. In 2021, the plant's revenue reached 8.2 billion rubles (about $105 million).

In early March 2022, UPM announced the suspension of operations in Russia due to Russian invasion of Ukraine. The company stopped purchasing wood in the country and stopped the UPM Chudovo plywood mill operations. Preparations for the asset sale began in January 2023, when UPM changed the ownership structure in its Russian operations. Finnish Astronaut RUS Holdings became the sole owner of UPM Kymmene LLC and UPM-Kymmene Chudovo LLC.

On April 3, UPM announced that Gungnir Wooden Products Trading (Gungnir in Norse mythology is the name of Odin's spear) has become the acquirer of assets in Russia. From 2005 to 2007 Martin Hermansson was the CEO of Gungner Industries, a consulting company he founded, which provides consulting services to Russian wood processing companies.

In 2008, he founded Nord Timber Group, which was acquired in 2010 by Rusforest (at that time its largest shareholder was Vostok Nafta Investment Ltd). Rusforest owned the sawmills in the Irkutsk and Arkhangelsk regions. From 2010 to 2012 Martin Hermansson was the CEO of RusForest AB.

In 2013, Martin Hermansson founded the RFI Consortium, which later became the managing company of the Novoeniseysky Lesokhimichesky Complex (NLHK). In March 2020, NLHK filed a self-bankruptcy notice, citing a difficult situation in the sales markets and tightening requirements of creditors. In 2021, Segezha Group acquired from Trust Bank and Troika Leasing LLC rights of claim on loans and debts of NLHK for a total of 11.5 billion rubles, as well as a share of Martin Hermanson.

In Sweden, the Hermansson family owns Willwood AB, Europe's largest producer of softwood flooring.