Asian pulp firms look for investments, M&A opportunities in Latam

SAO PAULO (Reuters) - China’s Xiamen C&D Inc is looking for greenfield projects in Latin America to invest as minority shareholder, Haidong Weng, head of strategic business for pulp and paper, told Reuters on Tuesday.

Speaking on the sidelines of an industry conference in São Paulo, Weng said the Shanghai-based company would consider owning up to 20 percent in greenfield projects in Brazil.

He also said it was unclear whether new investments would materialize, since the projects the company analyzed were larger than the Chinese company desired.

“The greenfield projects we looked at in Latin America were too big for us,” he said, adding the initial idea would be tying these investments to offtake contracts, allowing Xiamen C&D to supply pulp and paper products to China from Latin America.

Japan’s Oji Holdings Corporation, which operates in Brazil through Celulose Nipo-Brasileira SA (Cenibra) and Oji Papéis Especiais Ltda, would like to grow in Brazil through joint ventures or acquisitions in Brazil, Takuji Okubo, Oji’s manager of new business, said during the same event.

Brazilian companies have shown resilience in the face of a harsh recession and low global pulp prices, participants in the event said.

“Oji wants to expand outside Japan, where there is no more room to grow,” Okubo said.

Reporting by Ana Mano