BillerudKorsnäs has signed a letter of intent to acquire Bergvik Skog Öst AB, owned by Bergvik Skog AB. Bergvik Skog Öst AB comprises approximately 350,000 hectares of forest land in Sweden. The transaction will secure parts of BillerudKorsnäs’ wood supply, and improve the possibilities to manage the mix of internal and external wood flows in order to increase efficiency. Bergvik Skog AB was formed in 2004 through an acquisition of the Swedish forest holdings of Korsnäs and Stora Enso. The biological assets of Korsnäs represented in 2004 approximately 17% (Bergvik Skog Öst AB) and the Stora Enso assets approximately 83% (Bergvik Skog Väst AB). As part of the transaction in 2004, long term wood supply agreements were agreed between Bergvik Skog AB and Korsnäs and Stora Enso. Click Read More below for additional information.
Cascades Inc. (TSX: CAS) (the “Company”) is pleased to announce that it has entered into an agreement with an affiliate of funds managed by affiliates of Apollo Global Management, Inc. (NYSE: APO) (together with its consolidated subsidiaries, “Apollo”) to sell its 57.6% equity interest in Reno De Medici S.p.A. (BIT: RM) (“Reno de Medici”, or “RDM”) for an all-cash price of €1.45 per share, corresponding to a total net cash consideration of approximately €315.3 million (approximately CAN$461 million). The purchase price is not subject to adjustment, except in case of potential leakages of value to the seller (such as, among others, dividends or returns of capital), provided that RDM’s 2020 dividend that was paid to the shareholders in May 2021 will not be considered a leakage.
The selling price represents a 24% premium to RDM’s 90-day volume weighted moving average share price, and a 6.9x multiple to RDM’s last twelve months adjusted operating income before depreciation as of March 31, 2021. Upon closing of the recently announced acquisition of Eska Group, the RDM group operations will grow to nine mills and five specialized cutting and sheeting centers across Europe and the USA.
The transaction is expected to be completed in the third quarter of 2021 and is subject to customary closing conditions, including required merger control approvals.
“The monetization of our RDM investment reflects our commitment to creating long-term value for the Company and our shareholders” stated Mario Plourde, President and Chief Executive Officer. “The timing of this divestiture allows Cascades to monetize the value generated by RDM’s multi-year transformation initiatives, which have helped drive the significant increase in Reno de Medici’s share price over the past year. Strategically, exiting our Boxboard Europe segment is aligned with our plan to focus on strengthening the competitive positioning of our core North American packaging and tissue papers business operations. To this end, proceeds from the divestiture will support ongoing strategic modernization initiatives and key projects and allow Cascades to strategically return capital to shareholders and proactively manage our debt profile.”
“Today’s announcement signals the end of our Company’s successful 35-year operating history in Europe. While Cascades is turning a page to focus on North America, we are confident that the team at Apollo will be an ideal strategic partner to support RDM’s future growth. We would like to thank Michele Bianchi and the Reno management team as well as all of the employees for the successful and positive partnership we have enjoyed with them over these many years,” Mr. Plourde said in closing.