Ahlstrom-Munksjö Oyj and its French subsidiary Ahlstrom-Munksjö Arches, have entered into a non-binding memorandum of understanding to divest Ahlstrom-Munksjö Arches’ fine art paper business, under ARCHES® brand, with Italian based F.I.L.A. Group, Fabbrica Italiana Lapis ed Affini S.p.A., a leading global player specialized in the research, design, manufacturing and sale of creative expression tools.
Subject to labor consultation and finalization of discussions between the parties to sign binding agreements, the transaction is expected to be completed in the first quarter of 2020 at a debt and cash free valuation of approximately EUR 44 million.
The standalone pro forma annual net sales of the fine art paper business to be divested are estimated to be approximately EUR 13 million and comparable EBITDA in excess of EUR 4 million in 2019.
ARCHES paper is mainly used for water color painting, art publishing, printing and writing, and digital art publishing (reproduction). The quality of the art paper is similar to traditional handmade paper and has characteristics that make it well suited for painting and the printing of art motifs. ARCHES paper is made of cotton, on a tradition cylinder mould, with a structure that provides strength and a characteristic feel. ARCHES paper is produced by two dedicated paper machines at the Arches plant in France where Ahlstrom-Munksjö Arches operates a total of seven paper machines, the remainder of which produce decor papers and abrasive paper backings.
“As a result of our regular assessment what is the best structure for our platform of businesses, we have signed a non-binding memorandum of understanding to divest the fine art paper business. The business is small and synergies are limited within our portfolio of businesses. F.I.L.A. is a strategic and industrial owner, a leading global player in its field, for which the ARCHES paper product range is highly complementary and provides further growth opportunities,” comments Ahlstrom-Munksjö President and CEO Hans Sohlström.
“F.I.L.A. is excited to include the ARCHES® prestigious range of products into the F.I.L.A. family and sees attractive development opportunities for this business that further accelerate our global growth. We welcome our new colleagues and are honored to continue the ARCHES® brand and its over 500 year old tradition in F.I.L.A.” says F.I.L.A.