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Stora Enso to Buy Out Minority Shareholding in Stora Enso Timber

Press release from the issuing company

HELSINKI, Finland, Aug. 17 Stora Enso today announced that Stora Enso's Board at its meeting on August 16, 2001 approved purchasing of the remaining 26.5% minority holding in Stora Enso Timber ownedby SPB Beteiligungsverwaltung GmbH of Austria. Following this purchase, Stora Enso Timber Oy Ltd will become a wholly-owned subsidiary of Stora Enso. By unifying ownership, the purchase will facilitate growth and enable Stora Enso Timber to take a more active role in the consolidation and development of the timber products industry. The deal is expected to be closed at the end of September, subject to approval by the EU competition authorities. Managing Director of Stora Enso Timber Arno Pelkonen said, "It will be easier for us to develop Stora Enso Timber as a wholly-owned subsidiary. Our strategic aims are full integration of wood procurement and fibre supply, and strengthening of Stora Enso's position as a leading supplier of timber products.'' Stora Enso Chief Executive Officer Jukka Harmala said, "Despite volatility in the timber products market, Stora Enso Timber's return on capital employed over the cycle has clearly exceeded our target of 13%. There is great potential for developing the business as a fully integrated part of Stora Enso.'' Stora Enso Timber is the world's third-largest producer of sawn softwood, with a sawn timber production capacity of 5.7 million m3 and a further-processing capacity of 1.5 million m3 per year. Stora Enso Timber's sales totalled EUR 1.2 billion in the year 2000. Its main markets are Europe, North Africa, North America and Asia. Stora Enso is an integrated forest products company producing magazine papers, newsprint, fine papers and packaging boards, areas in which the Group is a global market leader. Stora Enso also conducts extensive sawmilling operations. Stora Enso's sales total EUR 13 billion and annual paper and board production capacity about 15 million tonnes. Some 45,000 persons are employed in more than 40 countries and the company's shares are listed in Helsinki, New York and Stockholm.