July 24, 2018 / 7:34 AM / 10 months ago

Paper maker Ahlstrom-Munksjo to buy U.S. firm Expera for $615 million

HELSINKI (Reuters) - Finnish specialty paper maker Ahlstrom-Munksjo has agreed to buy U.S. firm Expera from KPS Capital Partners for $615 million, the companies said.

“This transaction is complementary in terms of geography and product offering, it improves our customer service capability,” Ahlstrom CEO Hans Sohlstrom told Reuters by telephone.

Expera’s products include fast-food wrapping papers, popcorn bags and muffin cups, as well as backings for tape applications.

Ahlstrom’s products include food packaging, label backings, decoration papers, industrial papers and fiber composites for filters.

Expera, with four paper mills and two integrated pulp mills, reported revenue of $721 million last year. Ahlstrom had sales of $2.6 billion.

Shares in Ahlstrom were up by about 8 percent by 0844 GMT.

“We think that Expera fits well into Ahlstrom-Munksjo’s portfolio, there should be no significant overlaps...we consider the deal positive from strategic perspective,” Inderes Equity Research said in a note.

Ahlstrom said it would conduct a rights offer of about 150 million euros ($175 million) this year to finance the deal. It expects cost synergies of about $10 million by the end of 2019.

The deal, subject to regulatory approvals, is expected to close this year.

In April, Ahlstrom said it would acquire MD Papeis’ Caieiras specialty paper mill in Brazil for about 100 million euros.

Reporting by Jussi Rosendahl; editing by Jason Neely and Angus MacSwan

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