Several types of carbon nanofibres (CNF) were coated with a uniform and dense copper layer by electroless copper deposition. The coated fibres were then sintered by two different methods, spark plasma sintering (SPS) and hot pressing (HP). The Cu coating thickness was varied so that different volume fraction of fibres was achieved in the produced composites. In some cases, the CNF were pre-coated with Cr for the improvement the Cu adhesion on CNF. The results show that the dispersion of the CNF into the Cu matrix is independent of the sintering method used. On the contrary, the dispersion is directly related to the efficiency of the Cu coating, which is tightly connected to the CNF type. Overall, strong variations of the thermal conductivity (TC) of the composites were observed (20-200 W/mK) as a function of CNF type, CNF volume fraction and Cr content, while the coefficient of thermal expansion (CTE) in all cases was found to be considerably lower than Cu (9.9-11.3 ppm/K). The results show a good potential for SPS to be used to process this type of materials, since the SPS samples show better properties than HP samples even though they have a higher porosity, in applications where moderate TC and low CTE are required. (C) 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.