Mondi considering buying 50% of Suzano's 1.5 million tonnes/year pulp mill project in Maranhão state, Brazil

LOS ANGELES , March 5, 2012 () – South Africa-based paper and packaging producer Mondi Group is considering purchasing 50% of the 1.5 million tonnes per year pulp mill project planned by Suzano Papel e Celulosa SA in Maranhão state Brazil, according to Valor Econômico on March 3.

The total project cost is US$2.9 billion, the publication reported.

Bloomberg News reported on Dec. 9 that CEO Antonio Maciel Neto said Suzano was considering renegotiating or paying down its bond covenants by 635 million reais (currently US$365.8 million), as the Brazilian currency’s devaluation had increased its debt value. The company was also planning to sell assets to help fund the repayment of some of its debt, which reached 5.3 billion reais at the end of the third quarter, according to Suzano’s financial statements, Bloomberg News reported on Dec. 9.

In a Sept. 20 press release, Suzano said, “The Maranhão Unit, which will start up in November 2013, has already secured a substantial part of its financing program: a R$2.7 billion loan has already been contracted from BNDES (Banco Nacional de Desenvolvimento Econômico e Social) and mandatorily convertible debentures amounting to R$1.2 billion have already been placed in the market. Financing lines for imports are in an advanced stage of negotiations.”

The Suzano CEO said the November 2013 startup represented a delay of seven months, Bloomberg News reported on June 8.

The primary source of this article is Valor Econômico in São Paulo, Brazil, on March 3, 2012.

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