(UPM, Helsinki, 8 July 2010 at 19:00 EET) – UPM today sold to the State of Minnesota Department of Natural Resources a conservation easement on 187,876 acres (76,000 hectares) of UPM-owned forest land in Northern Minnesota. UPM will receive USD 44 million (approximately EUR 36 million) for the easement and will record a pre-tax capital gain of USD 42 million (approximately EUR 34 million) in the Company's third quarter result.
Under the conservation easement, UPM retains ownership of the land and its Blandin paper mill in Grand Rapids, Minnesota, will continue to use it as a working forest. The easement provides the public with access for recreational purposes such as hunting, fishing, hiking and snowmobiling in perpetuity. UPM's Blandin will continue to manage the forest under its unique Smart Forestry system which is designed to enhance productivity and support economic and environmental sustainability. The land is certified to comply with the Sustainable Forestry Initiative.
The easement preserves conservation values which protect the recreational, working forest and natural and scenic resources of the affected land. Blandin can satisfy its obligations under the easement by continuing its certification by the Sustainable Forestry Initiative. The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources will conduct audits for compliance.
"UPM believes in the multiple uses of our forest resources for economic, ecological and public benefit, and our forestry professionals have always managed the land for these varied uses," said Joe Maher, General Manager of UPM Blandin. "This landmark conservation easement in the US shows vision and cooperation, to the benefit of all groups who care about our forest lands. UPM is pleased to be part of it."
For further information please contact:
Mr Joe Maher, General Manager, UPM, Blandin Mill, tel. +1 218 327 6398
Mr Olavi Kauppila, Senior Vice President, Investor Relations, tel. +358 204 150 658
UPM leads the integration of bio and forest industries into a new, sustainable and innovation-driven future. Our products are made of renewable raw materials and are recyclable. UPM consists of three Business Groups: Energy and pulp, Paper, and Engineered materials. The Group employs around 23,000 people and it has production plants in 15 countries. In 2009, UPM's sales amounted to EUR 7.7 billion. UPM's shares are listed on the Helsinki stock exchange. UPM – The Biofore Company – www.upmbiofore.com and www.upm.com