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KPP TAKE STAKE IN UK PAPER AND PACKAGING DISTRIBUTOR

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KPP TAKE STAKE IN UK PAPER AND PACKAGING DISTRIBUTOR

Gavin Nicholls

Kokusai Pulp and Paper (KPP) have agreed to become the majority shareholder in Antalis, a European paper and packaging distributor with its UK headquarters in Coalville Leicestershire and which employ more than 1,000 UK workers
The Tokyo-headquartered business will take over the shareholding from Sequana and Bpifrance Participations and concluded a restructuring agreement with Antalis and the lenders of its existing syndicated credit facility.
When the announced transactions are completed, Kokusai Pulp and Paper will launch a simplified cash tender offer on all remaining shares of Antalis.
Sequana currently holds a 75.2 per cent stake in Antalis which also has bases in Belfast, Leeds, Manchester, Norwich, Warrington, Winsford, Spalding, Coventry, Northampton, Bristol, Dartford, Newton Abbot, London, Tring, Dublin and Livingston, Scotland.
Antalis employs more than 1,100 people in the UK and its brands include Xerox, Cocoon, Digigreen and Novotech.
Kokusai Pulp and Paper is to pay 0.10 euros per share to Sequana and 0.40 euros per share to Bpifrance Participations.
KPP is a Japanese paper distribution group with operations in Japan, Asia and Australia, with sales of approximately €3.2bn. Its shares are listed on the Tokyo Stock Exchange.
A restructuring agreement has also been signed between KPP, Antalis and the lenders of Antalis’ existing syndicated credit facility, providing for the refinancing of €100m of the outstanding facility amount through a new financing granted by Mizuho Bank, and a write-off of the remainder.
The newly formed group is expected to represent an annual turnover of approximately €5.3bn, including 3.3 million tons of paper sold.
Antalis chief executive Hervé Poncin said: “Antalis, its management and employees are very pleased with this combination with KPP which will allow it to open a new chapter in its international evolution
“It will provide Antalis with the necessary means to support its development and strengthen its market position.”
Chairman Pascal Lebard added: “Antalis’ Board of Directors has favourably welcomed KPP’s backing which should enable the company to have a long-term shareholder that will support its future development.
“This combination, moreover, with a distribution company, puts an end to the search for a new shareholder for Antalis.”

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