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AURELIUS acquires three European paper mills from Sappi Limited

Luxembourg/Munich (News release) - AURELIUS announces the acquisition of three European paper mills from Sappi Limited (Sappi). The global company is the leading European producer of coated graphic, packaging, and speciality paper. In FY22, the three sites are expected to generate combined revenues of more than EUR 1 bn.

The transaction, which will be executed by AURELIUS' co-investment structure, is expected to close in Q1 2023, subject to approval by the relevant competition and regulatory authorities.

"The market for pulp and paper products is of particular interest to AURELIUS considering our industrial sector expertise. We combine a proven track record in complex carve-outs with a deep understanding of how to identify and unlock value creation potential in pulp and paper. Given these key traits, this transaction offers ample opportunity to unleash the full potential of these production sites", states Dr. Dirk Markus, Founding Partner of AURELIUS.

"Sappi has found a trustworthy and experienced partner in AURELIUS. These are strong assets with quality people and exciting prospects. Going forward Sappi's focus in Europe as regards graphic paper will be on the commercial print, packaging, and speciality paper markets. Within this scope, Sappi will produce flexible packaging, functional paper, and speciality paper with self-adhesives and dye-sublimation", commented Steve Binnie, CEO of Sappi Limited.

Sappi Limited (ISIN: ZAE000006284), is a global leader in dissolving pulp and paper-based solutions, headquartered in Johannesburg, South Africa. It has over 12,000 employees, manufacturing facilities in ten countries spanning over three continents and customers in over 150 countries worldwide.

The carve-out transaction from Sappi's European business includes sites in Kirkniemi (Finland), Maastricht (The Netherlands), and Stockstadt (Germany), with over 1,400 full-time employees combined. The sites produce paper products that are used in publications (e. g. retail advertising), graphic paper (e. g. annual reports) and graphic boards (e. g. packaging). Each site benefits from generating its own electricity and steam via its own power plants, reducing its dependence on external sources. Developments to further increase the optimisation of energy sourcing processes are underway.

"This transaction represents a great addition for AURELIUS' industrial portfolio. Each of the three paper mills presents different development opportunities to realise their full potential. AURELIUS' operational task force strives to improve the performance of each mill to create a future proof foundation for these separate sites", states Matthias Täubl, CEO of AURELIUS Equity Opportunities.

AURELIUS was advised on the transaction by Lincoln International (M&A), Jones Day (Legal), Afry (Commercial), EY (Tax, Pensions) and Tauw (Environmental).

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