Metso's Board of Directors has today decided that the current structure of Metso will be kept intact. The principal reasons for the Board's view are the rapid sales and profitability growth in Metso Minerals and Metso Automation together with good growth opportunities provided by favorable market outlook, as well as the ongoing positive development of Metso Paper including the potential acquisition of Aker Kvaerner's Pulping and Power business announced today. The Board sees that it is important that the management focuses on the execution of the profitable growth strategy launched in August 2005.
Metso's Board of Directors has conducted a feasibility study regarding various alternative corporate structures, including the potential separation of Metso Minerals from the current Metso Corporation. In addition to internal resources, the Board has been advised by Goldman Sachs and other external advisors.
Following the completion of the feasibility study launched in late August 2005, the Board continues to believe that the current Metso structure provides for now best potential for further creation of shareholder value.
The feasibility study addressed how to maximize shareholder value of Metso. Issues under consideration included shareholder value creation potential under Metso's current structure in comparison with a potential separation of Metso Minerals, taking into consideration strategic and industrial aspects. Based on the findings, the Board sees that the potential benefits of a separation of Metso Minerals would at present be clearly smaller and more uncertain than the value creation potential achieved if management and employees focus their full attention on the execution of the strategy and capturing the growth and improvement potential within Metso in its current form. In the Board's view, significant further benefits can be obtained with the new strategy of profitable growth.
The Board recognizes that there are benefits, which could be achieved from a potential separation of Metso Minerals, but believes that the timing for such transaction is not optimal for the time being. Structural evaluations are part of Metso's continuous strategic planning and development, and the Board and the management will review the issue from time to time.
Furthermore, the Board has concluded that the feasibility study has not found any fundamental obstacles or other single issues, which would prevent a separation of Metso Minerals from commercial, financial, technical, legal, tax or capital markets perspective. A separation of Metso Minerals would result in additional ongoing and one-off separation costs. The Board considers these costs to be of some importance but they were not decisive for the Board's decision.
Metso is a global engineering and technology corporation with 2005 net sales of approximately EUR 4.2 billion. Its 22 000 employees in more than 50 countries serve customers in the pulp and paper industry, rock and minerals processing, the energy industry and selected other industries.