Reorganization of Decor business ownership
Ahlstrom-Munksjö Holding 3 Oy’s Board of Directors has agreed an ownership reorganization plan under which the production assets, debts, and liabilities relating to its Decor business will be transferred from Ahlstrom-Munksjö Holding 3 Oy, without liquidation, to a newly formed company that will be named Munksjö.
In the ownership reorganization, Ahlstrom-Munksjö Holding 3 Oy will divest the majority share of and remain with a minority share in the new Munksjö company to Ahlström Capital BV (wholly owned subsidiary of Ahlström Capital Oy) and Nidoco AB, both of which are affiliates of the current minority owners of Ahlstrom- Munksjö Holding 3 Oy. The planned reorganization is subject to customary closing conditions and is expected to be completed by the end of the third quarter of 2022, following which Ahlstrom-Munksjö Holding 3 Oy will start preparing plans for changing its business name to Ahlstrom.
Based on the strategic review of the Decor business the board has concluded that a standalone company would provide the best framework for the future development of this business. As separate companies, the increased management and board focus will support the newly named Ahlstrom and Munksjö in achieving further sustainable growth and profitability through a more focused and ambitious agenda on a global basis. Once the reorganization has been completed, both companies will offer distinctive characteristics that are expected to attract investors, provide access to new capital, and drive increased value.
Ahlstrom-Munksjö has actively developed its Decor business over the years, by establishing a strong growth platform in South America through the acquisition of Caieiras’s specialty paper mill in Brazil, and more recently by entering the world’s largest and fastest growing decor paper market in China through the acquisition of the decor paper manufacturer Minglian New Materials Technology in Xingtai, Hebei Province. Through these strategic acquisitions, the Decor business has become a leading international player, well positioned to serve its customers in all essential decor paper markets globally. As a standalone company the Decor business will accelerate its growth, strengthen its competitiveness and global leadership in innovation. The Decor business has operated under the Munksjö brand for more than 25 years, and although lately under the Ahlstrom-Munksjö brand, the business is most commonly known as simply “Munksjö”, a brand recognized for outstanding quality and service across the decor industry.
Hans Sohlström, President and CEO of Ahlstrom-Munksjö, comments: “Having actively participated in development of both Ahlstrom and Munksjö, I am very proud that the Decor business has grown into a leading global business. It has successfully adapted and managed changing market fundamentals which demonstrates its strength and agility, as well as its relevance for the future. The Decor business and the Munksjö brand are naturally a great match, and by bringing them together we create more value for both. I am convinced that our colleagues and customers will see that this reorganization is beneficial and supports continued success for all parties.”
Lasse Heinonen, President and CEO of Ahlström Capital, continues: “The Ahlstrom-Munksjö Decor business is a leading global business with a broad product portfolio and a market-leading brand, Munksjö. This business is already the leader in higher value market segments and has strengthened the competitiveness in standard decor papers with a footprint in China following the acquisition of Minglian New Materials Technology. For Ahlström Capital, the Munksjö Decor business is a key investment in our core fiber segment.”
About Decor business area: The Decor Solutions business area is one of Ahlstrom-Munksjö‘s five reporting segments. The business offers the broadest assortment of high-quality decor papers in its industry. Decor papers are primarily used as the decorative surface material in laminated wood-panel based furniture, flooring and other interior and exterior building material applications. Key markets are Europe, North and South America, China and selected export markets. The production takes place at six plants: Unterkochen and Dettingen in Germany, Tolosa in Spain, Arches in France, as well as Caieiras in Brazil and Xingtai in China. Including Xingtai, acquired in January 2022, annual net sales is approximately EUR 500 million and production capacity around 250,000 tons. Currently the combined businesses employ 1,200 people. The transfer of the Decor activities in France, including dedicated parts of the Arches plant, is subject to a prior consultation of employee representatives in France.