Suzano CEO, Walter Schalka Named Five Time Winner of Latin American CEO of the Year

Analysts point to Schalka’s business transparency as reason for victory

Boston, July 2, 2019 (Press Release) – Fastmarkets RISI, the definitive source of commodity data and insights for the forest products industry, has announced that Walter Schalka, Chief Executive Officer of Suzano, has been named the 2019 Latin American CEO of the Year.

It is the first time an executive from the region has won the award for the fifth consecutive year. The award will be presented to Mr. Schalka at the Latin American Conference on August 13, 2019 in São Paulo, Brazil.

The 2019 judges chose Mr. Schalka this year in an overwhelming sweeping victory. The Latin American CEO of the Year is nominated by a group of independent judges, comprised of investment analysts and portfolio managers covering the Latin American and global pulp and paper industry.

Amongst the reasons cited for Walter Schalka’s fifth win, one analyst said that he led and concluded the M&A with Fibria in a transparent and efficient way, creating the new market leader. “The company will have, in the future, capacity to set the profitability parameters for the global pulp industry.”

Besides the successful merger, another analyst commented: “I vote for Mr. Schalka for his commitment on supply discipline, his openness when addressing the outlook for shareholder’s value, as well as his focus and clarity when speaking about profitability.”

A third analyst also praised that Schalka is an influencer, an active participant in social media, “leading important discussions” for the sector and the Brazilian industry.

When notified of his fifth win, Mr. Schalka stated: “Receiving the Fastmarkets RISI award in a year replete with challenges and achievements, including the successful merger of Suzano Papel e Celulose and Fibria, represents an external recognition of the committed efforts of each employee of Suzano. This team of more than 15,000 direct employees is made up of people who inspire and transform and who are committed to continue innovating so that we can build a better future.”

Another important achievement registered by Suzano in 2018 was the conclusion of Facepa’s acquisition and the investment of Real 1 billion in the purchase of approximately 30,000 hectares of land and forests in São Paulo state.

In 2018, Suzano delivered record-high adjusted EBITDA of Real 6.8 billion and operational cash generation hit Real 5.4 billion. The group created an effective funding structure to support the merger with Fibria that involved issuing bonds, debentures, export credit notes and farm product bonds.

After the merger with Fibria, the new Suzano has an annual production capacity of 11 million tonnes of market pulp and 1.4 million tonnes of paper. Suzano’s competitiveness can be measured by its global footprint, with sales to over 80 countries and annual exports of Real 26 billion, as well as by the scale of its operations, with 11 plants in Brazil and approximately 37,000 direct and indirect employees.

About Walter Schalka:

Walter Schalka began his career at Citibank and later joined the holding company of Grupo Maepar. In 1989, he began working as Chief Financial Officer at Dixie Lalekla. After the merger between Toga and Dixie Lalekla, in 1995, that created the Dixie Toga Group, he became General Director. In 1997, he became the group’s CEO and played a decisive role in its expansion, merger and transfer of control processes. In May 2005, he joined Grupo Votorantim as CEO of Votorantim Cimentos, where he was responsible for the operations in Brazil and in 14 other countries. In January 2013, he became CEO of Suzano Pulp and Paper, where he has focused on improving the company’s results.

Walter Schalka holds a bachelor’s degree in Engineering from the Technological Institute of Aeronautics (ITA) and a graduate degree in Business Administration from the Getulio Vargas Foundation of São Paulo (FGV-SP). He also participated in the executive programs at IMD (Switzerland) and Harvard University (USA).

For more information about the Latin American Conference, click here.

About Fastmarkets RISI

Fastmarkets is the leading price reporting, analytics and events organization for global commodities markets, including the forest products sector, as Fastmarkets RISI. Businesses working in the pulp and paper, packaging, wood products, timber, biomass, tissue, and nonwovens markets use Fastmarkets RISI data and insights to benchmark prices, settle contracts and inform their strategies worldwide. Along with objective price reporting and industry data, Fastmarkets RISI provides forecasts, analysis, conferences and consulting services to stakeholders throughout the forest products supply chain.

About Fastmarkets

Fastmarkets is the leading price reporting, analytics & events organization for the global metals, industrial minerals and forest products markets. It operates within Euromoney Institutional Investor PLC. Fastmarkets’ core activity in pricing drives transactions in commodities markets around the world and is complemented by news, industry data, analysis, conferences and insight services. Fastmarkets includes brands such as Fastmarkets MB and Fastmarkets AMM (previously known as Metal Bulletin and American Metal Market, respectively), Fastmarkets RISI and Fastmarkets FOEX. Its main offices are in London, New York, Boston, Brussels, Helsinki, São Paulo, Shanghai, Beijing and Singapore. Euromoney Institutional Investor PLC is listed on the London Stock Exchange and is a member of the FTSE 250 share index. It is a leading international business-to-business information group focused primarily on the global banking, asset management and commodities sectors.


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