News. 22/12/03

Changed ownership in Bäckhammars Bruk AB

Press Release, Stockholm and Kristinehamn

Procuritas Capital Investors III acquires the Swedish kraft paper manufacturer Bäckhammars Bruk AB, including Åmotfors Bruk AB. The company, with a manufacturing capacity of 160 000 tonnes of pulp and paper and a turnover of SEK 1 bn, has strong market positions in Europe within niche kraft papers and sack paper.

Bäckhammars Bruk and Åmotfors Bruk are well-established companies, with stable market positions within a number of different niche markets, including various MG paper products and sack paper. The company offers high quality products, fully leveraging the potential of the Nordic softwood fibre.

– We have managed to improve our market positions over the last few years. With a new strong and active owner, we will be able to improve our relations with our customers even further, comments CEO of Bäckhammars Bruk AB Olle Axell.

The Chairman of the Board of the company will be Krister Ahlström, formerly CEO and Chairman of the Ahlström Group, Deputy Chairman of StoraEnso, as well as a board member of several other European companies.

– I am impressed by the long history of successful development of the company’s customer oriented products, and the strong market position. However, we believe that there is significant room for further improvement in terms of both leveraging the products’ high quality and the company’s good reputation on the market, thereby returning the company to historical profitability, says Krister Ahlström.

Bäckhammars Bruk and Åmotfors Bruk have been owned by the Pettersson family since the beginning of the 1980’s. During this period gradual improvements of the mills have been made, and today the group consist of two efficient production units of high quality kraft paper.

– As we stated earlier this year, we have actively been searching for a suitable way to hand over our responsibilities to an owner that can take over our commitment to run the mills in an appropriate manner and we are now very pleased that Procuritas takes over the mills, says former main owner Marianne Pettersson.

Procuritas Capital Investors III is a private equity fund focused on mid-sized companies in the Nordic region. The Fund’s investors include, among others, Nordea Liv, Sampo and Statoil. The fund is advised by Procuritas Partners KB.

Handelsbanken Capital Markets and Lenner & Partners have acted as financial advisers to the sellers.

For questions, please contact

the CEO of Bäckhammars Bruk AB Olle Axell, tel. +46 703 68 55 00,
the representative of Procuritas Capital Investors III, Peter Toyberg, tel. +45 33 91 87 00 or
the family representative Bo Pettersson, tel. +46 705 54 46 26

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