Ahlstrom to acquire Orlandi's spunlace nonwovens business in Italy

Ahlstrom to acquire Orlandi's spunlace nonwovens business in Italy

Ahlstrom Corporation STOCK EXCHANGE RELEASE 1.2.2007 at 17.45
 
Ahlstrom, a global leader in high performance fiber-based materials, today announced that it has signed an agreement to acquire the spunlace nonwovens business of the Italian Orlandi Group. With this acquisition Ahlstrom will become one of the leading producers of nonwoven roll goods for wipes globally. The acquisition price is approximately EUR 60 million and the transaction is expected to be EPS enhancing from 2007.

Ahlstrom anticipates to close the deal within the first half of 2007, subject to antitrust clearances and satisfactory conclusion of the ongoing due diligence. Further, Italian Trade Unions will be informed accordingly.
 
The acquired business includes two plants with four production lines in Cressa and Gallarate in Northern Italy, close to Milan. The plants employ approximately 120 people.
 
Orlandi's business expands Ahlstrom's technology portfolio with airlace technology which is used to manufacture pulp-containing wiping fabrics. In connection with the acquisition, Ahlstrom invests approximately EUR 2.5 million to increase both the capacity and technical capabilities of the airlace line at the Cressa plant. The investment is estimated to be completed by the end of March, 2007. After the investment, the acquired business will generate net sales of approximately EUR 65 million in 2007.
 
Orlandi is currently one of the leading wiping fabrics producers in Europe, serving the personal, household and industrial wipes markets. In addition, the acquired business manufactures medical and industrial spunlace fabrics.
 
Ahlstrom has strong presence in the wipes market in North America with two manufacturing units, one in Windsor Locks, Connecticut and another in Green Bay, Wisconsin. In December 2006, Ahlstrom started a new spunlace line at its Green Bay plant. Furthermore, in October 2006, Ahlstrom decided to expand its wiping fabrics production to South America and announced an investment in a new wiping fabrics line in Brazil. The new line will be operational in early 2008.
 
"We are building a strong platform to serve our customers globally. The acquisition supports our growth strategy and strengthens our market position in nonwovens", says Jukka Moisio, President and CEO of Ahlstrom.
 
"The wipes segment offers significant growth opportunities and has a high innovation potential globally. Ahlstrom has been consistently building its wipes business through adding technologies and expanding geographically. The acquisition of Orlandi's business further complements our technology base and expands our product offering in the wipes sector", comments Claudio Ermondi, Senior Vice President, Nonwovens.
 
The market for spunlace wiping fabrics is estimated to continue to grow at a rate of 7% annually.
 
For further information, please contact:
Jukka Moisio, President and CEO, Ahlstrom Corporation, tel. +358 10 888 4700
Claudio Ermondi, Senior Vice President, Nonwovens, tel. +39 011 9260 232
 
Distribution:
Helsinki Stock Exchange
Main media
www.ahlstrom.com
 
Ahlstrom in brief
Ahlstrom is a global leader in the development, manufacture and marketing of high performance fiber-based materials. Nonwovens and specialty papers, made by Ahlstrom, are used in a large variety of everyday products, e.g. in filters, wipes, flooring, labels, and tapes. The company has a strong market position in several business areas in which it operates, built upon the company's unique fiber expertise and innovative approach. Ahlstrom's 5,700 employees serve customers via sales offices and production facilities in more than 20 countries on six continents. In 2006, Ahlstrom's net sales amounted to EUR 1.6 billion. Ahlstrom's share is listed on the Helsinki Stock change. The company website is www.ahlstrom.com.
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