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Pfeifer // Pölkky: Interview with Michael Pfeifer

“Pölkky is an integrated and well-established company with a competent staff, a unique location in the wooded north of Finland and a valuable market position. That is why Pölkky fits perfectly into our strategy, which provides for synergetic growth. We are very pleased about the opportunities arising from this acquisition.”
Michael Pfeifer, CEO Pfeifer Group

Michael Pfeifer (CEO Pfeifer Holding GmbH)


What are the main reasons for the Pölkky takeover?

The main reasons why we have taken over the Finnish wood industry Pölkky are

  • which Quality and Availability of raw material
  • a calculable roundwood price
  • well achievable synergies.

We have signed an agreement to purchase all shares in the Finnish wood processing company Pölkky Oy. transaction strengthens our position as one of the leading companies in the European wood industry and equips us for the global competition.

What are the prospects for Pfeifer?

As the largest private wood processing company in northern Finland, Pölkky employs 420 people and recently achieved an annual turnover of 200 million euros. With the takeover, our number of employees will increase to around 2,600 in four countries. The projected sales will rise to EUR 1.4 billion in 2023. With this transaction, we are pursuing a strategically coherent development in the direction of Scandinavia.

Over the past five to six years, the Central European timber industries have taken advantage of the growth in the Far North. The acquisitions all went in the direction of Securing raw materials. Austrian companies are now responsible for 15% of the total cut in Finland.

Why did the decision fall on Pölkky?

Pölkky is very good at The market is established. There have always been constant results generated. These were much more stable than ours in Central Europe: not quite high, but also never so low. Pölkky is an integrated company in which the family built up a management at an early stage, which we now want to focus on. Each acquisition offers many Rewards. Now new employees are being added, with whom we will continue on this path.

Pölkky has four sawmill sites. This means that we have nine sawmills at Pfeifer Holding GmbH, which together have an output capacity of 3 million m3 of sawn timber.

In the modernization program, we rely on new Hewsaw/Veisto lines. This is the right equipment for the weak wood available there.

Pölkky is Northern Finland’s largest wood processing company. The sawmills and further processing plants are located in Kuusamo (company headquarters), Taivalkoski, Kajaani and Kitka. There is an office in Oulu. The cutting volume amounts to 1.4 million fixed meters; in addition, the product portfolio includes Sawn timber, planed timber, pressure impregnated timber, glued laminated timber well Chips and Sawdust. With an export rate of over 70 percent and delivery targets in 35 countries, Pölkky is a major player in the global saw market.

We would also like to adapt to the conditions in Finland during the takeover – for example, the following applies: the wood chips go to the paper mills. Chips may be refined one day by yourself.

Are there already plans for the future at the locations in Finland?

Which was already initiated before the deal Investment Plan of € 100 million for three years, we will continue unchanged. In the end we will two completely renovated sawmills have. The first renovation will start in the spring of 2023.

The incision is already very efficient at Pölkky – in addition, there is top raw material: Pölkky cuts 80 % pine and 20 % spruce. Unlike in Central Europe, you don’t have to worry about the supply of raw materials in northern Finland. In addition, the price of 80 to 85 € / fm is very predictable.

What are the local potentials in Finland?

We Central Europeans have been so successful in recent decades because we were very deeply involved in the Finishing go. Of course, this potential is now being shown for the locations in Finland and we would like to drive forward the changes there as well. Which Introduction of a third shift is another possibility.

We would like to preserve the team on site and not intervene operationally. It is very likely that the Supervisory Board committees will be filled with a Pfeifer representative and the teams in Central Europe and Finland merge. Although we are purchasing around 80,000 m3 of Nordic goods, this played a rather subordinate role in the deal.

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