FINLAND (News release) -- Ahlstrom-Munksjö has successfully completed the acquisition of a 60% stake in Chinese decor paper producer Minglian New Materials Technology Co., Ltd. and forms a joint venture which comprises a state-of-the-art plant in the city of Xingtai, Hebei Province, China. A non-binding letter of intent with the majority shareholders was initially signed in November 2019 but the Covid-19 pandemic delayed the negotiations and closing of the transaction.
By combining Minglian with its existing Decor business, Ahlstrom-Munksjö creates a global leader in decor papers with improved cost competitiveness and strong presence in Europe, Americas and Asia. The business combination allows Ahlstrom-Munksjö to leverage its brand and capabilities in the large and growing high-end decor paper market in China. It will strengthen Ahlstrom-Munksjö's ability to serve international customers both in the short- and long term. Ahlstrom-Munksjö will provide technical and operational expertise to Minglian and strengthen Minglian's customer offering and service in the domestic medium and high-quality segments as well as adjacent export markets. Minglian provides cost competitive manufacturing to the combined Decor business platform and opportunities to optimize production and extend further decor paper manufacturing capacities.
"Minglian is an excellent fit to our operating platform in Europe and South America. It will allow us to serve customers in China and its adjacent export markets as well as we do elsewhere. Together we create a strong global player in decor paper," says Tomas Wulkan, Executive Vice President Decor Solutions business area.
"We are very pleased with the interest that customers have already shown in both the domestic Chinese market and nearby export markets. Now that we have completed the transaction, we look forward to implementing our ambitious plan to develop and grow the business," adds Anders Falkeström, General Manager of Minglian.
Minglian in brief
Minglian New Materials was established in 2016 by a group of entrepreneurs with a background in the Chinese decor industry. The state-of-the-art greenfield investment in Xingtai, Hebei province, including an eight-foot paper machine equipped with best available technology, was completed in November 2018. The annual production capacity of approximately 50,000 tons is currently fully utilized. The plant site in Xingtai allows future capacity expansion. The current number of employees is 140.
About Decor Solutions business area
The Decor Solutions business area is one of Ahlstrom-Munksjö's five reporting segments. The Decor business produces paper in a wide range of colors, grades and grammages for decorative applications, mainly used in the production of laminated surface materials for furniture, flooring and other interior and exterior architectural panels. The production takes place at five plants: Unterkochen and Dettingen in Germany, Tolosa in Spain, Caieiras in Brazil and Arches in France. Annual production capacity is approximately 210,000 tons.