08 August 2012
(Registration number 1936/008963/06)
(Incorporated in the Republic of South Africa)
Share code: SAP ISIN: ZAE000006284); NYSE code SPP
(“Sappi” or the “Company”)
Sappi Limited exits Chinese Joint Venture as part of Strategic Focus on High Growth Investments and Debt Reduction
Sappi Limited concluded an agreement to sell its entire 34% shareholding in the Jiangxi Chenming Paper Company Limited (JXCM), situated in Nanchang City, Jiangxi Province, China, for US$ 41,58m to the Shandong Chenming Paper Holding Company.
In 2004 Sappi joined a Joint Venture (JV) created by Shandong Chenming Paper Holding Company and other partners to explore fine paper opportunities in China. A change in strategic focus by Sappi caused this investment to be reviewed and led to discussions with the Shandong Chenming Paper Holding Company, the majority shareholder and co-founding partner of the Joint Venture. The parties have been able to reach an amicable agreement which will allow Sappi to concentrate on its strategy of investing in high growth businesses, disposing of non-core assets and reducing its debt.
Commenting on the decision Sappi CEO Ralph Boettger said: “Our Joint Venture in China has been of tremendous value to Sappi. We have gained a better understanding of the Chinese market as well as of manufacturing in China. We have built strong relationships with our Chinese partners and look forward to again working with them in the future. Sappi will remain active in China in particular through its release paper and chemical cellulose businesses.”
The implementation of the transaction is subject to various Chinese regulatory approvals, which it is anticipated will be achieved before Sappi’s financial year end on 30 September 2012.
For further information contact:
André F Oberholzer
Group Head Corporate Affairs
Tel +27 (0) 11 407 8044
Mobile +27 (0) 83 235 2973
Maarten van Hoven
Group Head Strategy and Legal
Tel +27 (0) 11 407 8041
Mobile +27 (0) 83 412 7885
Group Head Investor Relations and Sustainability
Tel +27 11 407 8391
Mobile +27 (0) 83 320 8624