According to the Research Institute of the Finnish Economy (ETLA), Metsä Group is Finland's fourth most important company in terms of value added, when both direct effects and the multiplier effects arising through purchases are included in the consideration. Major Finnish corporations have a significant impact on the total national production and financial growth, given that in 2015, the ten largest companies generated a total of 7.5 per cent of Finland’s GDP. As part of its study, ETLA studied the impact of Metsä Group’s bioproduct mill being constructed in Äänekoski in terms of revenue, value added and employment. The impact of the largest investment to date in the history of Finnish forest industry has significant repercussions in the economy during both the construction and the operation of the mill. According to ETLA’s calculations, the EUR 1.2 billion investment in the bioproduct mill will increase the revenue of companies operating in Finland by around EUR 2.4 billion at the construction stage, and it will generate value added that will be directly reflected in economic growth in the amount of nearly EUR 1 billion during 2015–2018.
Huhtamaki, a key advanced manufacturer of sustainable packaging solutions for consumers around the world, has entered into an agreement to acquire the assets of Jiangsu Hihio-Art Packaging Co. Ltd., a leading manufacturer of paper bags, wraps and folding carton packaging in China. The company currently serves international quick-service restaurants (QSR) as well as national bakery chains. With this acquisition, Huhtamaki continues to strengthen its position as the leading foodservice packaging provider in Asia and expands its product portfolio in China allowing it to better serve its existing and new customers in this exciting growth market.
Jiangsu Hihio-Art Packaging Co. Ltd. currently employs approximately 200 people in its manufacturing unit in Xuzhou city, Jiangsu. Employees will be offered an opportunity to continue to work for Huhtamaki after the transaction is closed. In 2020 the annual net sales of the privately owned business were approximately EUR 20 million. Following the acquisition, Huhtamaki will have altogether four manufacturing units in China: in Guangzhou, Shanghai, Tianjin, and Xuzhou.
“I am excited with the opportunities that this acquisition represents for our core business in China. Urbanization, middle class expansion and innovation into more sustainable packaging solutions drive growth across Asia. The acquisition of Jiangsu Hihio-Art Packaging Co. Ltd extends our product portfolio and access to new channels. This enables us to accelerate growth in China in line with our strategy,” says Eric Le Lay, President for Huhtamaki’s Fiber Foodservice EAO business segment.
The debt free purchase price is EUR 27 million. The acquisition is expected to be completed by the end of the third quarter 2021, following the fulfillment of certain customary closing conditions, after which the business will be reported as part of the Foodservice Europe-Asia-Oceania reporting segment.