Finland not keen on Metso merger with Weir Group

HELSINKI, April 1 Tue Apr 1, 2014 9:44am EDT

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HELSINKI, April 1 (Reuters) - Finland's state investment fund Solidium is not keen on engineering group Metso being merged with Weir Group, its head said on Tuesday, adding Metso should remain independent.

Scottish engineering company Weir has approached Finnish rival Metso over a possible $5 billion combination as it tries to expand its core mining division to match its rapid growth in oil and gas.

Solidium, which manages Finnish state's holdings, including its 11 percent stake in Metso, thinks that the company would be better off remaining independent.

"Metso has an excellent path in front of it as an independent company, so I don't think this is the right time to contemplate selling the company," Solidium Managing Director Kari Jarvinen said.

"I don't think this is the right time to sell Metso to Weir Group, or to sell it to anyone." (Reporting by Sakari Suoninen; Editing by Erica Billingham)

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