Kimberly-Clark planning to sell tissue paper assets in Brazil, Latin America -report

SAO PAULO (Reuters) -Kimberly-Clark Corp is planning to sell its tissue paper assets in Brazil and Latin America, newspaper Valor Economico reported on Friday, saying the company is in talks with JPMorgan to reassess its business in the region.

Though a price tag has yet to be decided, market estimates suggest Kimberly-Clark’s assets are valued at between $800 million and $1 billion as a whole, with Brazil accounting for about $200 million, Valor said.

The U.S.-based company owns brands such as Kleenex and Neve.

Valor said Brazilian pulpmaker Suzano SA, Chile’s CMPC-owned Softys, Nine Dragons Paper, Oji Holdings Corp, RGE and J&F Investimentos are among those interested in Kimberly-Clark’s Brazilian assets, citing sources familiar with the matter.

Valor said the talks did not include its listed Mexico-based unit.

RGE, the local unit of Raja Garuda Emas, a Singapore-based pulp and paper, fiber and palm oil maker, said in a statement to Reuters it was unable to respond to M&A speculation in the marketplace.

But it added its Brazilian unit Bracell “is always on the lookout for attractive business opportunities which complement our businesses.”

“RGE has recently identified tissue as a growth area, which alongside paper and paper board growth, is fueling global pulp demand. Latin America is a rapidly growing market and Bracell is committed to value added investments in the country,” it said.

JPMorgan declined to comment.

Kimberly-Clark and all other companies named by Valor did not immediately respond to Reuters requests for comment.

(Reporting by Gabriel Araujo; Editing by Kirsten Donovan and Chris Reese)

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