According to UPM, Puukeskus Oy is Finland’s leading merchant for timber and wood products. Founded in 1929, it has 650 employees and sales last year were €394m. It has 28 branches in Finland and one in Estonia.

The business has been bought by the management, with funding from Triton, the private equity investor which focuses on Nordic and German-speaking markets.

UPM would not disclose the value of the sale, but said that it would result in a capital gain for it of around €90m.

The disposal of the business is in line with the company’s strategy to pull out of merchanting and focus on its core production activities and sales to big industrial customers. In the last two years it has sold off its Anco Trae merchant operations in Denmark and the Brooks Group in Ireland. It sold Brooks Manson in the UK to Wolseley in 2002.

Harald Finne, president of UPM’s wood products division, said that Puukeskus would continue to sell UPM products and work closely with the business.

“The role of Puukeskus as the sole distributor of UPM’s products to building companies, consumer and other customer segments will be further strengthened both in Finland and Estonia,” he said. “We have also given the company increasing responsibility for distributing WISA wood products and we are very pleased with our co-operation.”