Buhrmann purchase by PaperlinX progressing

Since the announcement of paperlinX’s intent on purchasing the paper merchanting arm, the debt free headline purchase price has been adjusted to EUR706million, with a further deferred consideration of up to EUR26 million contingent on BPMD achieving an agreed level of earnings for the calendar year 2003. If all or part of the deferred amount is applicable it will be payable on 1 July 2004.

PaperlinX is confident that time will show that this purchase holds great value for the companies and their combined shareholders, with Darryl Abotomey, PaperlinX chief financial officer labeling BPMD “a sound, solid business”.

“Buhrmann, combined with The Paper Company, will create the largest paper merchanting business in Europe,” says Abotomey.
According to Ian Wightwick, PaperlinX managing director , “The acquisition of Buhrmann’s Paper Merchanting Division is a significant strategic step and will allow PaperlinX to further drive its strategy to build a leading international fine paper merchant”.

“This acquisition creates the leading multi-continent fine paper merchant with operations across Australasia, Asia, Europe and North America. It complements our existing merchanting and Australian Paper manufacturing businesses, diversifies our earnings base, delivers enhanced shareholder value, and positions PaperlinX strongly for the future.”

Completion of this transaction is dependent on approval by Buhrmann’s shareholders and regulatory authorities. Based on the forecast timings of these approvals, completion is provisionally scheduled for the end of October 2003.

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