Finnish pulp and paper company Stora Enso has announced plans to sell four paper production sites to increase its focus on the group’s strategic growth areas.

The company has begun a sales process for the divestment of the sites but has not yet set a deadline for this.

Stora Enso said that paper is not a strategic growth area for the group and that the divestment is in line with its strategy to focus more on renewable products in packaging, building solutions and biomaterial innovations.

The sites being sold are located in Anjala, Finland, Hylte and Nymölla, Sweden; and Maxau, Germany.

They are engaged in the production of paper and pulp, having a ‘strong’ infrastructure and ‘skilled’ staff.

Stora Enso president and CEO Annica Bresky said: “Through divesting a majority of our paper assets, we are able to increase the focus on our defined strategic growth areas of renewable packaging, building solutions and biomaterials innovations.

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“When assessing potential divestment options, we look for new ownership that will provide a sustainable long-term future for the sites and the people that work there.”

Stora Enso said the sites will be divested in one or a series of transactions.

The company has contracted US-based investment bank BofA Securities to support the sales process.

Stora Enso currently operates five paper production facilities, which are supported by divisional sales, management and administrative functions.

The firm’s paper division currently employs around 2,200 people. Last year, the division reported net sales of around €1.70bn ($1.89bn).

In January this year, Stora Enso announced plans to invest €40m in its fluff pulp production facility in Skutskär, Sweden.

This will involve installing new technology and restructuring the facility to increase the site’s cost-effectiveness and improve its climate footprint.