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Arjowiggins plans to sell Arjowiggins Graphic and Arjowiggins Creative Papers to Fineska BV, the parent company of Eska Group, the renowned Dutch-based graphic cardboard business controlled by Andlinger & Company, a private investment group which also owns Crown Van Gelder (CVG), a Dutch specialty papers manufacturer. The transaction is expected to complete by the end of October 2018.
According to the announcement, information and consultation procedures have been initiated with the relevant work councils and the planned sale will be submitted for approval by the national competition authorities in all countries where it is required.
The gross amount of the transaction should be EUR 125 million. Given the companies’ debts and other liabilities, net proceeds from the sale should be in the region of EUR  20 million (to be adjusted at completion of the transaction in line with balance sheet items).
The businesses reported sales of EUR  528 million in 2017, or 19% of Sequana Group’s consolidated sales, of which 61% comprised recycled graphic and specialty (i.e., laminated and transfer) papers and 39% premium fine papers and specialty papers (i.e., bookbinding and tracing paper).
Arjowiggins Graphic and Arjowiggins Creative Papers operate a total of eight mills located in France, the UK, Spain and China and employ over 2,000 people. In the wake of the major restructuring operations carried out in 2014 and 2015 to refocus on specialty papers, these two divisions generated positive cash-flow in 2017 and they should report a profit in 2018.
Since 2008, Sequana has been refocusing on its paper distribution business where its subsidiary Antalis boasts leading positions in Papers, Industrial Packaging and Visual Communication in Europe.
Pascal Lebard, Sequana’s Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, commented: “The planned sale of Arjowiggins’ Graphic and Creative Papers divisions is the culmination of the process of weighing up our options in a market that is set to continue to consolidate.”
It meets our objective of ensuring the long-term development of our activities as part of a major industry player or an investment fund. This was already achieved in the past with the sale of our Decor paper business (to Munksjö), our Latin American banknote businesses (sold to Fedrigoni), and Arjowiggins Healthcare (sold to Meeschaert Private Equity). By becoming part of Andlinger & Company, Arjowiggins Graphic and Arjowiggins Creative Papers would benefit from the support of a private investment group that has been supporting two renowned players in the specialty papers sector for a number of years. The sale would affect neither their business relations nor their partnership with Antalis.”