Helsinki, FINLAND

The offer from Metso Corporation's fiber and paper technology business area, Valmet, to purchase certain assets of the American paper machine manufacturer, Beloit, has been accepted in the auction by the Creditor's Committee. The offer included Beloit's roll cover division, paper machine aftermarket business assets and the related paper machine technology. The auction price of the businesses offered was USD 160 million.

The offer accepted in the auction will be handled under Beloit owner, Harnischfeger's Chapter 11 process and has still to be accepted in the Bankruptcy Court. The court session is planned to take place next week. The deal also needs the approval of the competition authorities.

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.