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Ahlstrom Closes Paper Machine in Barcelona, Spain
Helsinki, Finland, 17 December 2009 -- Ahlstrom Corporation, a leading manufacturer of nonwovens and specialty papers, has concluded the cooperation procedure on a possible closure of a paper machine for filtration materials at its manufacturing plant in Barcelona, Spain. The negotiations with the representatives of personnel were started on 06 November 2009, as part of the Group restructuring program under way globally, and due to the global overcapacity in some filtration materials. The negotiations concerned all employees of the plant, excluding the sales office. 

As a result of the negotiations, Ahlstrom has decided to close down the paper machine. This will result in a reduction of 37 positions, affecting blue-collar and white-collar employees. The layoffs will be implemented flexibly as from the end of 2009.

The nonrecurring items related to the closure amount to approximately EUR 7.5 million, of which EUR 5.5 million are asset write-downs and EUR 2.0 million cash related items. The nonrecurring items are included in the total amount of approximately EUR 34 million announced to be booked in the financial results of Ahlstrom Group in 2009.

The Barcelona plant employs 92 persons, of whom 10 work at the sales office. The plant produces filtration media for transportation and liquid applications. In addition to the paper machine, the plant operates a saturator, slitter winders, liquid converters, and a warehouse, which are not affected by the closure.

Despite the possible adjustments, the Barcelona plant will continue to supply its local customers with the current product portfolio and service supported by Ahlstrom's plants in Turin, Italy, and Mount Holly Springs, Pennsylvania, USA. The Turin plant is the main manufacturing site of filtration materials for Ahlstrom's customers in Europe, Middle East, and Africa. 

Ahlstrom is a global leader in the development, manufacture, and marketing of high performance nonwovens and specialty papers. Ahlstrom's products are used in a large variety of everyday applications, such as filters, wipes, flooring, labels, and tapes. Based on its unique fiber expertise and innovative approach, the company has a strong market position in several business areas in which it operates. Ahlstrom's 6000 employees serve customers via sales offices and production facilities in more than 20 countries on six continents. In 2008, Ahlstrom's net sales amounted to EUR 1.8 billion. Ahlstrom's share is quoted on the NASDAQ OMX Helsinki. The company Web site is at www.ahlstrom.com.


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