The new venture will be named Sonae-Arauco SA and is expected to be finalised in the first half of 2016.
In order to form the joint venture, Arauco subscribed for 50% of Sonae’s Tafisa, for a US$150m investment. Tafisa owns 10 panel mills that are distributed in Spain, Portugal, Germany and South Africa.

Combined, these production facilities employ 3,000 people and produce 4.2 million m3 of panels.

Tafisa has estimated annual sales of US$900m and produces OSB, MDF and particleboard as well as sawn timber.
Arauco will operate two panel mills and one saw mill in Spain; two panel mills and one resin facility in Portugal; four panel mills in Germany and two in South Africa.

Sonae-Arauco’s production capacity will be about 460,000m3 of OSB, 1.45 million m3 of MDF, 2.27 million m3 of particleboard and 100,000m3 of sawn timber.

This investment will rank Arauco as the second largest producer of wood panel in the world with an annual production of 9 million m3, which includes 50% of Tafusa’s production.

Matías Domeyko, Arauco’s ceo, said this action "alligned with positioning Arauco as a global company that is embracing new challenges. This is also a very good opportunity to diversify geographically in relevant markets, with good perspectives".

Arauco’s panel business has achieved a sustained increase in terms of production mainly due to the expansion in Argentina and Brazil in past decades, and the acquisitions, in 2012, of production facilities located in the US and Canada.

This increase has positioned the company as one of the primary producers at the global level, with a combined production capacity of 6.6 million m3 in its 16 facilities.

In addition, Arauco has plans to build a new panel mill in Michigan, US, which will have an annual production capacity of 750,000m3.