Stock Exchange release April 19, 2000 04:05:00 PM CET

METSO COMPLETES ACQUISITION OF BELOIT’S PAPER MACHINE SERVICE ASSETS

The acquisition by Metso Corporation’s fiber and paper technology business area, Valmet, of the service and aftermarket assets of the American paper manufacturer Beloit has been approved by the U.S. antitrust authorities. The final price of the businesses was EUR 167 million. It is estimated that the businesses will be transferred to Metso in the beginning of May.

This acquisition strengthens Metso’s position in the maintenance and upgrading market, which is growing fast. Metso’s growth in this area is supported by its new customer service concept Future Care. Beloit’s large base on installed machinery provides a strong platform for growth, especially in North America.

The acquisition covers Beloit's roll cover division, which has operated under the name of Beloit-Manhattan, as well as the paper machine aftermarket business assets and also related paper machine technology, such as Beloit's paper machine drawings, patents and several pilot machines. The annual net sales of the businesses included in the acquisition were approximately EUR 210 million.

The roll cover division has six service centers: these are located in the states of South Carolina, Mississippi, Washington, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania in the USA and in Cernay, France. The acquired businesses are estimated to employ some 800 people. Metso’s fiber and paper business area has an additional 12 sites in North America. Entire Metso Corporation had almost 4,700 employees in North America at the end of 1999.

Metso's offer was approved by the Creditor's Committee under Beloit owner, Harnischfeger's Chapter 11 process in January and also by the Bankruptcy Court in February, after which it proceeded to the competition authorities for approval.

Metso Corporation's fiber and paper technology business area Valmet is the world's leading supplier of technology, systems and equipment for the pulp, paper, converting and panelboard industries. In 1999, Valmet's net sales was EUR 1.7 billion and it had a personnel of 10,600.

Metso Corporation is a global supplier of process industry machinery and systems. In addition to fiber and paper technology, Metso's business areas are automation and control technology and machinery. The net sales of Metso Corporation was EUR 3.4 billion in 1999 and personnel totaled approximately 23,000. Metso Corporation is listed on the Helsinki Exchanges and New York Stock Exchange.