Spicers’ parent company Kokusai Pulp & Paper (KPP) has entered into a binding agreement with Sequana and Bpifrance to take a 83.7 per cent stake in Antalis.
Antalis is a global paper, packaging and visual communications distributor that is based in France but has operations worldwide including Australia.
According to the company, subject to certain condition precedents, KPP will acquire 53,395,148 ordinary shares of Antalis held by Sequana, representing approximately 75.2 per cent of Antalis’ share capital and 82.5 per cent of voting rights.
This follows Sequana’s liquidation in May last year but with Antalis operating independently since June 2017, the latter was not impacted by the liquidation, apart from the need for a new owner.
KPP and Bpifrance have also entered into a share purchase agreement to which KPP agreed to acquire, and Bpifrance agreed to sell, 6,064,946 ordinary shares (approximately 8.5 per cent share capital and voting rights) of Antalis.
This deal is subject only to the effective transfer of the shares held by Sequana to KPP.
Concurrent to the binding agreements, a restructuring agreement has been signed between KPP, Antalis and the lenders of Antalis’ existing syndicated credit facility, providing for the refinancing of €100 million of the outstanding facility amount and the write-off of the remainder.
The write-off is conditional on the closing of the acquisition by KPP of Sequana’s and Bpifrance’ shares held in Antalis.
KPP CEO Madoka Tanabe said the company decided on the proposed acquisition during its business development period in its second mid-term management plan to “pursue sustainable growth by acquiring external resources”.
“Antalis is one of the largest paper distributors in Europe, and it is distributing paper and paper-related products in 41 countries, mainly in Europe, including South America and Asia Pacific,” Tanabe said.
“Its strength is in the packaging business, high growth business post graphic paper, as well as visual communication business (sign and display), and it is reforming its business portfolio and investing in e-commerce business.”
Tanabe added that the potential acquisition will provide a greater complementary relationship between Antalis with its business base in European countries and KPP to have a stronger base in Asia Pacific; and synergies in product development and branding improvement with Antalis.
“By having Antalis under our group and the combination of the trade business of KPP’s international business and Antalis’s paper distribution business, we expect this will contribute to strengthening competitiveness with expansion. We will work hard to achieve sustainable growth by as well as in Asia Pacific, global business expansion including in Europe,” Tanabe added.
At the time of writing, Sprinter had contacted Spicers and Antalis Australia for comment.
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