Schweitzer-Mauduit International, Inc. and Neenah, Inc., two leading global manufacturers of specialty materials, today announced that they have entered into a definitive agreement to combine in an all-stock merger of equals with combined revenues of approximately $3 billion, expanded scale and capabilities, and accelerated growth opportunities.
This transaction brings together two organizations with highly complementary technologies, geographies and product portfolios in specialty materials. The combined company will capitalize on powerful megatrends with strong positions in large, growing categories including Filtration, Healthcare & Wellness, Protective & Adhesive Solutions, Industrial Solutions, and Packaging & Specialty Paper.
Under the terms of the agreement, which was unanimously approved by the Boards of Directors of both companies, shareholders of Neenah will receive 1.358 shares of SWM common stock for each share of Neenah common stock owned. Following the closing of the transaction, SWM shareholders will own approximately 58 percent of the combined company, and Neenah shareholders will own approximately 42 percent of the combined company, in each case, on a fully diluted basis.
“I’m proud of the work our team has done to successfully expand and grow our global portfolio over the last several years, adding core capabilities and scale to better serve our customers. This merger is an exciting next step on our journey and one that will deliver significant shareholder value,” said Dr. Jeff Kramer, Chief Executive Officer of SWM. “SWM has earned a reputation as a critical solutions provider. The combination with Neenah is a continuation of our strategic intent to solve our customers’ most complex design challenges. We are excited by the numerous benefits of this merger, including the significantly broadened customer base, product lines and technical expertise. At the same time, combining the talented teams, cultures and well-run operations of Neenah and SWM will enhance our position as a world-class leader across our end-markets, poised to drive long-term growth and attractive returns. We look forward to working with the Neenah team to unlock the tremendous value of this compelling combination for all stakeholders.”
“This combination is a unique opportunity to accelerate our growth strategy and continue the transformation of our business, creating a global leader in specialty materials with strong and defensible positions in attractive end-markets,” said Julie Schertell, President and Chief Executive Officer of Neenah. “Merging our two companies enhances our ability to grow and solve the needs of our customers for demanding, innovative products that address global challenges such as the necessity for clean water and air, sustainable alternatives, and enhanced health and wellness. The synergy potential for this transaction is significant, and the all-stock structure enables shareholders of both companies to participate in the substantial value creation and future growth opportunities of the combined company. SWM has a talented team that shares our values, with a focus on employee safety, innovation and customer intimacy. We look forward to delivering on the potential of this transaction by capitalizing on our combined capabilities and strengths.”
Strategic and Financial Benefits of the Combination
- Creates a Global Leader in Specialty Materials with a Broad Portfolio of Solutions: Combining the Neenah and SWM product portfolios will enhance exposure to growing, global end-markets with clear megatrends of clean air and water, health and wellness, sustainability, and advanced protective solutions. Complementary capabilities exist in key categories including filtration, healthcare, tape, packaging, release liners, and adhesive solutions.
- Highly Achievable Cost Synergies: The transaction is expected to achieve at least $65 million in annual run-rate cost synergies within 24-36 months post close. Key cost savings include organizational optimization, procurement and other supply chain efficiencies, and redundant public company costs.
- Accelerates Growth with Enhanced Scale and Larger Global Footprint: The combination is expected to accelerate long-term revenue growth, with numerous opportunities to cross-sell the extensive suite of specialty materials, leverage each company’s deep customer relationships, combined technology portfolio, and innovation capabilities. In addition, with operations spanning four continents, the combination will create a stronger presence to better serve customers both globally and regionally, with significant opportunities to increase penetration in several geographies.
- Strong Financial Profile and Commitment to Shareholder Value Creation: The combined company is projected to have approximately $450 million of pro-forma adjusted EBITDA (including synergies) and margins of more than 15 percent in highly specialized, defensible categories. The transaction is also expected to increase the combined company’s ability to generate cash, providing financial stability and flexibility. The combined company intends to uphold Neenah and SWM’s track records of prioritized uses of cash, including returning capital to shareholders. As a larger, well-capitalized company, the combined entity also expects to benefit from greater access to capital markets, opportunities for lower cost of capital, and long-term strategic optionality.
- Accelerates Innovation: The combined company’s suite of technologies, intellectual property, and R&D capabilities in material science is expected to accelerate the pace of innovation, with the potential to deliver breakthrough, high-growth products that better meet the ongoing needs of customers and drive long-term profitability for shareholders.
- Shared Values and Culture: SWM and Neenah have highly aligned outlooks on business, prioritizing employee safety and development, and partnering with customers to create premium, unique solutions that fuel their success. With shared commitments to environmental stewardship, sustainability, engagement, inclusion, and corporate governance, the combined business will build upon both companies’ ongoing ESG efforts.
Headquarters, Leadership and Governance
The combined company will remain headquartered in Alpharetta, Georgia and will be led by a proven management team that reflects the strengths and capabilities of both organizations. Upon close, Julie Schertell, President and Chief Executive Officer of Neenah, will serve as President and Chief Executive Officer of the combined company. Dr. Jeff Kramer, Chief Executive Officer of SWM, will serve as a strategic advisor for the combined company following the close of the transaction. A new name for the combined company will be selected in connection with the merger.
The new Board will consist of nine directors, five of whom will be from the SWM Board and four of whom will be from the Neenah Board, including Ms. Julie Schertell. John D. Rogers, Non-Executive Chairman of the SWM Board, will serve as Non-Executive Chair of the combined company’s Board of Directors.
Approvals and Closing
The transaction has been unanimously approved by the Boards of Directors of both SWM and Neenah. The merger is expected to close in the second half of 2022, subject to Neenah and SWM shareholder approval, regulatory approvals and other customary closing conditions.
J.P. Morgan Securities LLC is serving as financial advisor and King & Spalding LLP is serving as legal advisor to SWM. Perella Weinberg Partners LP is serving as financial advisor and Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner LLP is serving as legal advisor to Neenah. Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP is serving as legal advisor to the independent members of the Neenah Board of Directors.
Joint Investor Call
SWM and Neenah management held a joint conference call and webcast on March 28th at 8:30 a.m. ET to discuss the transaction. In addition, an investor presentation and infographic are available on both websites. A replay of the webcast will be available through April 25, 2022 on both companies’ websites, or by dialing 877-660-6853 or 201-612-7415 and providing the access code 13728309.