Ahlstrom will demerge its Label & Processing business area, combining it with Miksjö AB to form a new leader in specialty papers. The new company, which will be named Munksjö Corporation, will be listed on the Helsinki NASDAQ in 2013. According to Ahlstrom executives, the transaction is in line with its strategy of focusing on high performance materials that purify, protect and provide surface and structure to customers' products.
"During the past three years, Ahlstrom has systematically executed its strategy towards becoming a focused high performance materials company," says Jan Lång, president and CEO of Ahlstrom. "This transaction of combining the Label & Processing business area with Munksjö is the most significant step in our strategy execution. It allows us to concentrate our resources to the areas where we see the most attractive value-add and growth opportunities.
"The essence of our strategy is that our high performance materials protect people, purify air and liquids and provide surface and structure to our customers' products. In addition to reinforcing our global leadership in Filtration, we seek growth opportunities in high performance materials for building, food packaging and medical applications," Lång continues.
In 2011, Ahlstrom’s Label & Processing business accounted for 41% of group sales, operating plants in Brazil, Germany and Italy. Its customers are mainly in the labeling, food and industrial packaging, graphics, cosmetics and pharma packaging markets. This demerger follows Ahlstrom’s divestment last year of its Home and Personal, or wipes, business, which was also considered inline with the company’s strategy of focusing on becoming a high performance materials company.
Just like Ahlstrom is a shareholder in Suominen, the owner of its former wipes business, Ahlstrom now will become a shareholder in the Munksjö with a shareholding of approximately 15%.
Following the public listing of the new company, Coated Specialties, the Brazilian part of Ahlstrom's Label & Processing business area, will be separated through another partial demerger into Munksjö Corporation. This is to allow enough time for receiving all the necessary regulatory approvals in Brazil. These approvals are not a prerequisite for completing the first phase and the public listing of Munksjö Corporation. The second phase is expected to be completed by the end of the second quarter of 2013.