Stora Enso sells paper mill to German Lidl owner Schwarz Group

The Stora Enso company logo is seen near a packaging mill in Riga, Latvia September 18, 2012. REUTERS/Ints Kalnins/File Photo

HELSINKI, Sept 13 (Reuters) - Finnish forestry group Stora Enso (STERV.HE) said on Tuesday it would sell its Maxau paper production site in Germany to Schwarz Group, the owner of discount supermarket chains Lidl GB and Kaufland.

The transaction is part of Stora Enso's plan to divest four of its five remaining paper production sites as it shifts its focus to packaging.

The company expects to book a disposal gain of around 50 million euros ($50.7 million) on the expected closing of the deal in the first quarter of 2023. The German site has an enterprise value of around 210 million euros, it said.

"Schwarz's plan is to continue paper production at the site, and the 440 employees belonging to the mill organisation at Maxau will be part of the transaction," Stora Enso said in a statement.

In a strategy update, Stora Enso said it aimed to generate more than 60% of group sales from renewable packaging by the end of the decade.

"By 2030, we aim to have a significantly lower exposure to market pulp and reduce cyclicality by increasing integration and growing in Renewable Packaging, Building Solutions as well as new innovative biomaterials in our portfolio," it said.

Last week, Stora Enso said it had agreed to buy Dutch packaging company De Jong for an enterprise value of 1.02 billion euros ($1.02 billion).

($1 = 0.9867 euros)

Reporting by Anne Kauranen; Editing by Kirsten Donovan

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