Pulp & Paper Canada
December 31, 1998
By Pulp & Paper Canada
HELSINKI, FINLAND -- Paper machine maker Valmet Corp. and forest machine manufacturer Rauma Corp. will merge to form one of the world's largest forest machine equipment makers. The merged company -- tentatively named Valmet-Rauma Corp. -- will be Finland's largest metal company, with combined annual sales of about $7 billion and almost 23 500 employees.

The companies did not mention staff layoffs, But they did say they expect to save about $120 million in such duplicated services as distribution, purchasing, manufacturing and administration. Process automation and flow control will be a key growth area for the new company.

In the new company, each Rauma shareholder will receive 1.08917 shares and, and each Valmet shareholder one share. The largest shareholders of both companies say they will approve the merger: UPM-Kymmene Corp. as the largest shareholder in Rauma with a 34.5% stake, and the Finnish government as the major shareholder in Valmet with a 20% interest. In the merged company, Matti Sundberg, chief executive officer of Valmet, will be CEO, while Pertti Voutilainen, chairman of Rauma, will be chairman. The merger must meet the usual approvals from regulatory authorities and shareholders. It is expected to be completed by June 30, 1999.

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