Helsinki, FINLAND

Metso Corporation's fiber and paper technology business area, Valmet, has today made an offer to purchase certain assets of the American paper machine manufacturer, Beloit, whose parent company Harnischfeger Industries is subject to Chapter 11. The offer includes Beloit's roll cover division, paper machine aftermarket business assets and the related paper machine technology. The annual net sales of the businesses included in the offer are estimated to be approximately USD 200 million. The Division employs about 800 people in the USA and France.

The value of Metso's offer is approximately USD 160 million. The offer will be handled under Harnischfeger's Chapter 11 process and will be accepted in the Bankruptcy Court. The deal also needs the approval of the competition authorities. The whole process is expected to take some weeks.

Metso Corporation's fiber and paper technology business area Valmet is a world leading supplier of technologies, systems and equipment for the pulp, paper, converting and panelboard industries. In 1998, the business area's pro forma net sales totaled EUR 1.9 billion (FIM 11.6 billion) in 1998 and it had about 10,900 employees.

Metso Corporation was created through the merger of Rauma and Valmet Corporation on July 1, 1999. Metso's business areas are fiber and paper technology, automation and control technology and machinery. The pro forma net sales of Metso Corporation was EUR 3.7 billion (FIM 22 billion) in 1998 and personnel totaled approximately 23,000. Metso Corporation is listed on the Helsinki Exchanges and New York Stock Exchange.