Masters in Finance students visit PORTUCEL SOPORCEL
On Thursday the 3rd of April, students of the Master in Finance visited the PORTUCEL SOPORCEL plant at Setubal.
» The scope of the visit
As a compliment to the high quality academic programme, ISEG arranges for students to have direct contact with leading companies, as it important for them to experience practical applications of the theory that is being taught in lectures at first hand.
As part of the course unit in Mergers & Acquisitions, students have to carry out an assignment which includes a financial valuation of PORTUCEL SOPORCEL, a listed company, which accounts for approximately 1% of the Portuguese GDP and about 3% of exports. The Group is the leading European manufacturer of uncoated wood-free (UWF) printing and writing paper, and the 6th largest producer in the world. Annual turnover is more than 1,500 million Euros, with exports of 1,250 million Euros. About 95% of pulp and paper sales are exported to 110 countries in more than 5 continents. PORTUCEL SOPORCEL also invests substantially in Research and Development and it owns a 94% stake in the RAIZ research centre – Instituto de Investigação da Floresta e Papel. The remaining 6% is owned by leading Portuguese universities.
» The visit
The visit was split into two parts. The first consisted of a presentation in the company's auditorium by one of the directors – Nuno Neto. This presentation described the main aspects of PORTUCEL SOPORCEL's activity, its internationalization strategy for internationalization and its long term vision for the business, as well as an analysis of the major risks and opportunities faced by the company. At the end of the presentation, students asked pertinent questions related to the preparation of their company valuation assignment for the M&A course.
After the presentation, students visited the most recently built part of the plant – the paper mill. This mill has a production capacity of 795.000 tons of paper per annum and represents an investment of € 525 million Euros. The company also invested a further 75 million Euros in a Cogeneration plant. The mill possesses the largest machine in the world for the manufacture of uncoated printing and writing paper, with a length of 200m and a width at formation of 11.10m.
During the visit around the plant, students were able to see the different stages of the production process and also the end products manufactured by the company, namely Navigator paper, the world's best-selling brand for the premium office paper segment.
ISEG-the Lisboa School of Economics & Management, would like to thank PORTUCEL SOPORCEL Board members, especially Fernando Araujo, who is a former post graduation student from ISEG, and also directors Paula Castelão and Rui Batista, for the opportunity to visit the company and for enhancing closer cooperation between major companies and leading universities.