Munksjö to form a global leader in specialty paper together with Ahlstrom's Label and Processing business area

  • Munksjö to combine with Ahlstrom's Label and Processing business area forming a global leader in specialty paper with EUR 1.3 billion in net sales
  • The new company will be named Munksjö Corporation with head office in Stockholm
  • Munksjö Corporation is expected to be listed on NASDAQ OMX Helsinki during the first quarter of 2013. A future listing on NASDAQ OMX Stockholm is considered
  • Current Munksjö shareholders to own 29% of the shares

Munksjö AB (“Munksjö”), an EQT III portfolio company, and Ahlstrom Corporation Oyj (“Ahlstrom”), have agreed that Ahlstrom will demerge its Label and Processing business area, and combine it with Munksjö, forming a new company to be named Munksjö Corporation.

Munksjö Corporation will be a global leader in specialty papers with combined net sales in 2011 of EUR 1.3 billion. The new company will have approximately 3,300 employees and 16 production sites in Europe, Brazil and China.

Following the proposed transaction, current Munksjö shareholders will own approximately 29% of the new company and Ahlstrom shareholders will own approximately 50%. The remainder of the shares have been offered in a directed share issue of EUR 100 million to institutional investors Varma and Ilmarinen as well as Ahlstrom and EQT III. The directed share issue is fully subscribed. The transaction will not involve any sale of shares in the new company by current shareholders in Munksjö.

“During EQT III’s ownership, Munksjö has taken many important measures to increase efficiency. Three mills have been closed down, while investments in the remaining sites have been considerable in order to increase output and energy efficiency. In addition, parts of Munksjö have been divested, while acquisitions have been made within the specialty paper area, such as the acquisition of the Decor, Abrasives, Thin Print Papers and Fine Art businesses of ArjoWiggins in 2011.The proposed combination is a natural next step in Munksjö’s strategy to become a leading global specialty paper company. There is a clear strategic fit between the two companies as they both have specialty paper as core business,” says Caspar Callerström, Partner at EQT Partners, Investment Advisor to EQT III.

Jan Åström, President and CEO of Munksjö, will become the President and CEO of the new company. Peter Seligson has been appointed Chairman of the intermediate Board of Directors of Munksjö Corporation. The new company will be headquartered in Stockholm and the shares listed on NASDAQ OMX Helsinki.

The transaction is subject to approval from an Extraordinary Shareholders‘ Meeting of Ahlstrom in November 2012. It is also subject to customary completion terms, such as merger clearances from relevant competition authorities including the European Commission. Trading in shares of the new company is estimated to commence during the first quarter of 2013.

Further information and conference call

For further details on the proposed transaction, see separate press releases from Munksjö and Ahlstrom.

Munksjö and Ahlstrom will hold a joint press and analyst conference in Helsinki on August 28, 2012 at 12.00 Finnish time (CET+1). The event will be hosted by Munksjö´s President and CEO Jan Åström and Ahlstrom’s President and CEO Jan Lång, and it will be held in English.

Contact:
Caspar Callerström, Partner at EQT Partners, Investment Advisor to EQT III
+46 707 20 75 02

About EQT
EQT is the leading private equity group in Northern Europe with close to EUR 18 billion in raised capital and multiple investment strategies. Together with an extensive network of independent Industrial Advisors, EQT implements its investment strategy by acquiring or financing good medium-sized to large companies in Northern and Eastern Europe, Asia and the United States, supporting their development into leading companies. Development is achieved by an industrial strategy with focus on growth. Since inception, EQT has invested more than EUR 11 billion in around 100 companies and exited close to 50. EQT-owned companies have more than 550,000 employees.

EQT Partners, acting as Investment Advisor to the managers of each EQT fund, has around 120 investment professionals with an extensive industrial and financial competence. EQT Partners and its affiliates have offices in Copenhagen, Frankfurt, Helsinki, Hong Kong, Oslo, London, Munich, New York, Shanghai, Singapore, Stockholm, Warsaw and Zurich.

More information can be found on www.eqt.se 

About Munksjö
Munksjö is one of Europe’s leading players in specialty paper and specialty pulp. The Group develops, manufactures, markets and sells high-quality and value-creating specialty papers such as Decor papers used in the manufacture of for example furniture, kitchen interiors and laminate flooring. Products used in industrial applications include Abrasive backings and Electrotechnical papers for the insulation of high-voltage cables and transformers. The customer relationships, high technical competence, production know-how and the capacity for product development have contributed to Munksjö’s strong market positions. Munksjö has production facilities in France, China, Germany, Spain and Sweden and employs approximately 1,800.

More information can be found on www.munksjo.com

About Ahlstrom Corporation´s Label and Processing business area
In 2011, Ahlstrom Corporation´s Label and Processing business (the combined LP Europe and Coated Specialities) had net sales of EUR 681 million (combined amounts based on the historical carve-out financial information derived from the Ahlstrom Group). The business area employs approximately 1,500 and has six production facilities in Europe and South America. Its main products include release liners, self-adhesive labels, base paper for metalized labels, flexible packaging papers, poster papers, decor papers, and abrasive backings. The mills that will be part of the transaction are Osnabrück in Germany, La Gere, Rottersac and Stenay in France, the Label and Processing operations in Turin, Italy and the coated specialities mill in Jacarei, Brazil.