NASTOLA, FINLAND - Raute Corp. has entered into an agency agreement with Veneer Services LLC of Indianapolis, IN, USA. Veneer Services will offer Raute's technology to hardwood veneer and plywood producers in the USA and Canada.

Raute's technology has a strong position among hardwood veneer and plywood industries in Europe, Russia and South East Asia, and it is competitive also for the hardwood industry in North America. The agency agreement between Raute and Veneer Services will strengthen Raute's presence in the North American market where Raute's focus has been more on serving the softwood plywood and LVL industries.

Raute's own operations concentrate on serving softwood veneer and plywood producers as well as LVL industry. In other market areas, in particular Europe, Russia and South East Asia, Raute has a strong position among the hardwood industry as well, but in North America Raute has not focused on that customer base sufficiently for historical reasons. Raute believes that its technology will be competitive for North American customers as well.

The hardwood veneer and plywood industry is of significant size in North America. The combined revenue of the industry is over 2.3 billion USD and capital investment is recovering after an extended period of stagnation. The current improvement in the housing market should contribute to steady growth and healthy development in the market for hardwood products. Raute and Veneer Services see large potential in renewing the technology and equipment base of the industry.

Veneer Services LLC is an Indianapolis, Indiana based, privately held company. Since 2000, Veneer Services has provided machine solutions to the hardwood veneer and panel industries. Veneer Services is well known in the hardwood industry and has a reputation for innovative solutions to the specific challenges of this sector. Recently, Veneer Services successfully implemented a diversification program to reach a wider customer base by developing machines for secondary processing of veneers and panels. The extended machine offering aids the existing base of primary veneer manufacturers by extending their value stream. The addition of Raute products allows Veneer Services to further diversify by offering complete mill solutions of the latest technology. For more information on Veneer Services see www.veneerservices.com.

Raute is a technology and service company that operates worldwide. Raute’s customers are companies operating in the wood products industry that manufacture veneer, plywood and LVL (Laminated Veneer Lumber). The technology offering covers machinery and equipment for the entire production process. As a supplier of mill-scale projects Raute is a global market leader both in the plywood and LVL industries. Additionally, Raute’s full-service concept includes technology services ranging from spare parts deliveries to regular maintenance and equipment modernizations. Raute’s head office is located in Nastola, Finland. Its other production plants are in the Vancouver area of Canada, in the Shanghai area of China, and in Kajaani, Finland. Raute’s net sales in 2012 were EUR 101.3 million. The number of personnel at the end of 2012 was 503. More information about the company can be found at www.raute.com.

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