On 29 November 2012, the combination between Billerud and Korsnäs was completed through Billerud acquiring all shares in Korsnäs from Kinnevik. The new Company, BillerudKorsnäs, will be a leading player in primary fibre-based packaging materials and packaging solutions with an annual turnover of approximately SEK 20 billion.

The packaging market is showing a positive long term trend, mainly attributable to increased globalisation, prosperity and changed consumption patterns. The combination between Billerud and Korsnäs creates a strong and focused player in packaging materials and packaging solutions through:

  • a strengthened offering in primary fibrebased packaging materials through a widened product portfolio, providing a competitive alternative to non-renewable packaging solutions
  • leading positions in packaging paper, consumer board and containerboard
  • good opportunities for cross-selling
  • a higher proportion of sales to consumer
  • related businesses, which is believed to lead to more stable earnings and a less cyclical profitability
  • an extended knowledge base enabling a higher pace of innovation and development of smart packaging solutions
  • a strong platform for growth and international expansion
  • improved conditions for sustainable profitability
  • realisation of synergies in purchasing, raw materials supply, production, administration, sales, development and logistics

Billerud History

Billerud dates back to the 19th century. Billerud as it is today was formed in 2001 through the merger of AssiDomän’s Skärblacka and Karlsborg paper mills, and Stora Enso’s Gruvön paper mill. The Billerud name has a very long history. A seemingly endless supply of forest, good communications and a genuine pioneer spirit lay behind the formation of Billerud and the spread of its reputation.

When the modern Billerud was formed in 2001, the name Billerud was resurrected. The company was formed through a merger of Stora Enso's Gruvön paper mill and AssiDomän's Skärblacka and Karlsborg paper mills. For the Gruvön mill in Grums the name was very familiar since it previously belonged to the Billerud company that was listed on the stock exchange until 1984.

After the merger, Stora Enso and AssiDomän each owned 50% of the shares in Billerud AB. On 20 November 2001, Billerud shares were listed on the Stockholm stock exchange (now NASDAQ OMX). In 2004, the Beetham production unit in the UK was acquired. In 2012, UPM’s packaging paper operations in Pietarsaari and Tervasaari in Finland were acquired. The combination with Korsnäs took place in the same year and BillerudKorsnäs was formed.

Korsnäs History

In the 1850s, Gävle bubbled with a spirit of enterprise and a belief in the future. The city’s leading businessmen wanted to move more goods through the port of Gävle. It was a good idea that only got better in the doing. They founded Korsnäs Sågverks Aktiebolag in Falun, built a 100 km long railway and began to produce milled timber, which was shipped by rail to the port of Gävle.

44 years went by. And then a decision was taken that resulted in Sweden’s biggest industrial move by far. The sawmill would move to Gävle. In 1899, 2,000 people set off with buildings and machines in tow, and didn’t stop till they reached Bomhus, on the coast just south of Gävle. Here a brand new town grew, a place of community, self-reliance and hard work.

The sawmill produced planks and boards, but interest was growing in what was left over, too. So in 1910, they built a sulphite plant, and in 1915, a sulphate mill to process the waste into paper pulp. In 1925, the company bought its first paper machine. It is still in use, in Lahore, Pakistan.

The next major transition in Korsnäs’ history began in the 1960s: from low-grade to high-grade processing. From products that were buffeted by business cycles to high-quality niche products. In 1965, 15% of the company’s production consisted of highly processed goods. By 1985, the figure had risen to 85%. Another phase of industrial evolution was accomplished, with yet more good ideas brought to fruition.

Milestones Gävle
•1855  Korsnäs Sågverks Aktiebolag founded
•1899  Operations move to Gävle
•1910/1915 Sulphite and sulphate mills built
•1925 First paper machine
•1976 PM5 brought on line. Board production begins
•1987 TM6 brought on line
•1985–89 Extensive renovations and expansion
•2000 LNHC calendar brought on line 
•2002 The sawmill was sold
•2004 Korsnäs owned forestlands sold to Bergvik Skog
•2005 Coating facility for PM4 brought on line
•2006  Korsnäs buys AssiDomän Cartonboard AB in Frövi
•2009 Korsnäs buys Rockhammar mill
• 2012 BillerudKorsnäs was formed

Last updated: 2015-01-27