The UPM-Kymmene Corporation, via its wholly-owned subsidiary Shotton Paper Company plc, the leading UK newsprint producer, has exchanged contracts for the purchase of Tilhill Economic Forestry (TEF) from Booker plc, for approximately £6 million. Shotton Paper will merge its own forestry management operation, Shotton Forest Management, into TEF creating the UK's largest forestry management business with 180,000 hectares of forestry in its portfolio. These forests are owned by private persons and communities. TEF will continue to trade independently under the name Tilhill Economic Forestry. Shotton Paper's Managing Director, Kevin Lyden, is to be Chairman of the company and Martin Wilkinson, the existing Managing Director of TEF, is to hold the same position under the new ownership. Kevin Lyden says, "We have bought the leading forestry management business in the UK and inherited a strong and very enthusiastic team with a rich mix of skills in respect of both upland and lowland forestry. The purchase makes strategic sense for the UPM-Kymmene Group because forestry is part of our core business. This will place us at the forefront of this expanding sector". "We could not have asked for a better arrangement", says Martin Wilkinson, "UPM-Kymmene has given us great confidence in the future. TEF will be an even more competitive business now that it is a part of such a successful international forestry group". Among its worldwide interests, UPM-Kymmene owns a million hectares of forests in Finland and manages forests on behalf of 1,500 private forest owners. UPM-Kymmene employs 34,000 people in the forest products industry and is the leading group in Europe.