Russian forestry and sawmilling business RusForest is acquiring the Nord Timber Group (NTG) in a move which will “jump-start” the former’s transition into a major world player.

RusForest, which is paying for the acquisition through a new issue of shares, said the purchase will increase its presence in north-west Russia.

Arkhangelsk-based NTG has forest leases exceeding 1.1 million ha of spruce and pine, said to be of similar quality to those found in northern Sweden. It also has an 80,000m³ per year capacity sawmill and a planing mill.

Following the acquisition, RusForest will control an annual allowable cut of about 2.8 million m³, positioning the company as one of the largest forest-controlling companies in Russia in terms of cutting rights.

RusForest expects its sawn wood output to grow to around to 800,000-850,000m³ per year over the next four to five years.