Sappi to sell Swaziland forest for R1-billion to cut debt

Sappi Ltd, the world’s largest maker of glossy paper, will sell 67 000 hectares (165 561 acres) of forest in Swaziland to finance debt and expand in dissolving pulp production.

The sale of Usutu Forest Products to Swaziland-based Montigny Investments has been agreed at R1-billion, Sappi said in a statement on Monday. Usutu owns softwood plantations, a decommissioned pulp mill and two villages.

 

“The proceeds will be used for general corporate purposes and will reduce Sappi’s net debt on a pro forma basis” as of March 31 to $2.045-billion, the company said.

 

“Sappi’s conversion and expansion of its Ngodwana plant to produce dissolving pulp, rather than bleached softwood pulp, has reduced its softwood requirements.”

 

Sappi is converting paper mills in South Africa and the United States to add an additional 500 000 metric tonnes of dissolving wood pulp as the company shifts to high-end products. Sappi is working to offset weaker sales in Europe, its biggest market.

 

The stock gained as much as 5.3%, and traded 1.6% higher at R24.78 by 10:19 am in Johannesburg, valuing the company at R13.4-billion. Sappi has declined 20% this year, compared with a 0.2% gain on the FTSE/JSE Africa All Share Index. – Bloomberg

These are unprecedented times, and the role of media to tell and record the story of South Africa as it develops is more important than ever. But it comes at a cost. Advertisers are cancelling campaigns, and our live events have come to an abrupt halt. Our income has been slashed.

The Mail & Guardian is a proud news publisher with roots stretching back 35 years. We’ve survived thanks to the support of our readers, we will need you to help us get through this.

To help us ensure another 35 future years of fiercely independent journalism, please subscribe.

Advertising

Unemployment fund, CCMA face jobs bloodbath

State bodies shielding workers have been weakened by budget cuts and high demands

Corruption allegations: It’s a family affair at Dihlabeng municipality

The mayor, her relatives and their friends keep landing lucrative tenders and using state resources. Yet Lindiwe Makhalema has failed to declare the list of her relationships with people and companies benefiting from the municipality

Auditor-general’s report reveals the municipalities where the money goes to...

Municipalities are in complete disarray, with many of them flagged by the auditor-general for deliberate lack of accountability and tolerance for transgressions by political and administrative leadership while billions are squandered.
Advertising

press releases

Loading latest Press Releases…

The best local and international journalism

handpicked and in your inbox every weekday