STOCKHOLM (News release) -- Ahlstrom-Munksjö has entered into an agreement to acquire 60% of Chinese decor paper producer Minglian New Materials Technology Co., Ltd. and form a joint venture, comprising a state-of-the-art decor paper 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 signing of the transaction.
By combining Minglian with its existing Decor business, Ahlstrom-Munksjö will create a global leader in decor papers with improved cost competitiveness and strong presence in Europe, Americas and Asia. The business combination will allow Ahlstrom-Munksjö to leverage its brand and capabilities in the large and growing high-end decor paper market in China and 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 segment as well as adjacent export markets. Minglian provides cost competitive manufacturing to the combined Decor business platform and opportunities to optimize production.
The transaction is subject customary closing conditions, and it is expected to be completed during the fourth quarter of 2021.
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.
Minglian in brief
Minglian New Materials was established in 2016 by a group of experienced entrepreneurs with a background in the Chinese decor industry through a greenfield investment in new state-of-the art 8 foot paper machine technology and plant lay-out. Started at the end of 2018, the production capacity is now in full use. Current product offering includes print base and low pressure lamination decor papers. The machine capacity is approximately 50,000 tons per year and the plant site in Xingtai allows production expansion in the future.