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Its failure to merge with US forest products giant Champion International is a "great disappointment," the chief executive officer of Finland's UPM-Kymmene told a news conference in Helsinki. But despite 18 months of negotiations, he said the world's largest producer of paper for magazines had to pull out of the bidding for Champion - won by US rival International Paper late last Friday for about $7.3 billion - because of debt-burden worries. Champion will pay $210 million in fees and costs for the collapse of the deal with UPM-Kymmene, which now will pursue other merger possibilities.

(c) Copyright 2000. The Christian Science Publishing Society

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