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Arauco buys half of Tafisa shares for US$150M

December 10, 2015 - Arauco recently announced it has agreed to purchase 50 per cent of the shares of Spanish company Tafisa, which represents a US$150 million investment. With this purchase, Arauco enters the European and South African markets.

Tafisa owns 10 panel mills that are distributed in Spain, Portugal, Germany and South Africa. Combined, these production facilities employ 3,000 people and produce a total of 4.2 million m3 of panels. 

This company is currently a subsidiary of Portuguese group Sonae. Once the transaction is complete, the new company will be called Sonae-Arauco. The corporation in which Arauco will participate, which has estimated annual sales for US$ 900 million, produces and sells OSB, MDF, and PB panels, as well as sawn timber.

Arauco will operate two panel mills and one saw mill in Spain; two panel mills and one resin facility in Portugal; four panel mills in Germany and two in South Africa. Sonae-Arauco’s production capacity will be about 460,000 m3 of OSB, 1.45 million m3 of MDF, 2.27 million m3 of PB and 100,000 m3 of sawn timber.

This investment will rank Arauco as the second producer in the wood panel global ranking, with an annual production of 9 million m3, which includes 50 per cent of Tafisa’s production.

Matías Domeyko, Arauco’s CEO, said this action “aligned with positioning Arauco as a global company that is present in the world and embracing new challenges. This is also a very good opportunity to diversify geographically in relevant markets, with good perspectives.”  

Evolution of Arauco’s panel business
Arauco has achieved a sustained increase in terms of production in the panel business, mainly due to the expansion toward Argentina and Brazil in past decades, and the acquisitions, in 2012, of production facilities located in the United States and Canada. This increase has positioned the company as one of the primary producers at the global level, with a combined production capacity of 6.6 million m3 in its 16 facilities.

In addition, Arauco has plans to build a new panel mill in Michigan, which will have an annual production capacity of 750,000 m3. Construction work for this facility is expected to begin in 2016. Sales of the wood panel business in 2014 were US$1.851 million.

December 10, 2015  By  Andrew Snook

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