As part of its aim to become a 'more focussed' growth company Courtaulds plc has signed unconditional agreements for the sale of its dissolving pulp interests, which include its interests in Saiccor (Pty) Ltd, South Africa, and Speciality Pulp Trading Ltd and supporting companies, Hong Kong, to a South African consortium represented by Sappi Ltd for £207 million. Sappi is also to purchase the 50% Courtaulds holding in unbleached kraft pulp producer Usutu Pulp Co. Ltd, subject to approval by the Swaziland government. Sappi estimates that the acquisitions will raise annual sales by 83% to 2.4 billion rand.
Anon., Wall St. J., vol. VI, no. 117, 18 July 1988, p. 4
The cash realised was used to fund the purchase Product Research and Chemicals Corporation in the USA. It was part of the new strategy of reducing dependence on cyclical commodity businesses such as fibres in favour of the "stickies" - high-value polymers for paints and adhesives - and heralded a series of US acquisitions. (Distancing Courtaulds from the "apartheid" troubles in South Africa were part of the reasoning at that time.)