Moelven, acquired in 2001 by Metsäliitto subsidiary Finnforest, produced sales of more than €400m and operating profits of €17.5m during the first half of 2006.

Ole Salvén, director of Metsäliitto Wood Products Industry, said Moelven had become a highly successful company with a lot of further growth potential in Scandinavia. But he said Metsäliitto would now focus on its core activity of processing and adding value to wood procured from the group’s 131,000 forest owners.

“We have evaluated Moelven against the new strategy and concluded that this is the right time to let a new owner develop Moelven further,” Mr Salvén said.

Metsäliitto owns 65.15% of Moelven’s shares, while 34.62% is owned by four Norwegian forest owners’ associations. The group said it will work together with the forest owners’ associations to find the best outcome for all owners.

Moelven specialises in sawmilling, machined timber products and building system components.