Consortium makes a play for Ahlstrom-Munksjo

A Bain Capital-backed consortium is offering to take Ahlstrom-Munksjo private in a EUR 2.08 billion deal that Zephyr, the M&A database published by Bureau van Dijk, shows is the largest with a Finnish target announced in 2020 to date.

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Spa Holdings 3 is proposing EUR 18.10 in cash per share, representing a premium of about 24.0 per cent to the close of EUR 14.56 on 23rd September, the last trading day prior to the announcement.

It is also 37.0 per cent higher than the finish of EUR 13.20 on 31st July, just before the consortium submitted its non-binding proposal.

The offer implies an enterprise value multiple of about 10.0x comparable earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) for the 12 months ended 30th June 2020.

According to the statement, this “is attractive when compared to similar M&A [mergers and acquisitions] transactions in the fibre-based engineered materials sector, and the historical trading multiple of Ahlstrom-Munksjö over the cycle”.

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Bain Capital, Ahlström Capital, Viknum and Belgrano Inversiones formed the consortium, and, excluding the latter, will own 55.0 per cent, 36.0 per cent and 9.0 per cent, respectively, of the company following the tender.

Ahlstrom-Munksjö claims to be a global leader in innovative and sustainable fibre-based materials that are used in a broad range of industrial applications and consumer-driven products and processes.

This includes everyday consumables, health care and life science, homebuilding and furniture, as well as transportation and manufacturing end-use segments.

Its product line includes food and beverage processing and packaging materials, electrotechnical insulation paper, glass fibre, and medical fabrics, among other things.

Ahlstrom-Munksjö seves more than 7,000 customers in over 100 countries, and reported net sales of EUR 1.34 billion in the first six months of 2020 (H1 2019: EUR 1.50 billion).

The company booked comparable EBITDA of EUR 165.7 million, giving a margin of 12.4 per cent (H1 2019: EUR 158.80 million; 10.6 per cent) and had net profit of EUR 55.70 million (H1 2019: EUR 18.90 million).

It had net debt of EUR 578.70 million, as at 30th June 2020, down from EUR 1.04 billion, as at 30th June 2019, and had gearing of 74.3 per cent (30th June 2019: 92.8 per cent).

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