British paper mill moves to American ownership
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A US private equity firm has taken control of Aylesford Newsprint, a Kent-based recycled paper mill.
SCA Forest Products and Mondi Group has sold its shareholdings in Aylesford Newsprint to The Martland Holdings for an undisclosed amount.
Located in Kent, Aylesford has a capacity to produce 400,000 tonnes of newsprint year from recycled fibre. According to a statement, the company supplies major national newspaper groups in the UK and generated £150 million of revenues in 2011.
Prior to completing the deal, the business was re-capitalised. The proceeds were used to repay in full its interest bearing debt and it now has an additional net cash position of £23 million. With pro forma gross assets, this figure rises to £99 million.
Ian Broxup, acting managing director of Aylesford Newsprint, says the transaction opens up new opportunities to reinforce the business' position as a UK newsprint producer.
Aylesford was initially formed in 1993 as a joint venture between SCA Forest Products and Mondi Group.
The Martland Holdings has a strategy of acquiring non-core divisions of large corporations and private companies with revenues ranging between €5 million (£4 million) and €1 billion worldwide.
The Martland Holdings will be 'long-term investors' says Landry Kouakou, executive director of the firm. He adds that Martland has a commitment to 'lifetime relationships' with the company's customers.
'Aylesford's high-quality asset base, its unique industrial know-how combined with a strong balance sheet with no financial debt and an improved operating structure will represent key assets for the future,' Kouakou comments.