Ahlstrom Corporation STOCK EXCHANGE RELEASE 15.7.2009
Ahlstrom Corporation, a leading manufacturer of specialty papers and nonwovens, has today entered into a multicurrency revolving credit facility agreement for the amount of EUR 200 million with six relationship banks. The new credit facility replaces an existing corresponding revolving credit facility expiring in November this year and is available for general corporate purposes and refinancing of the existing credit facility.
The new facility has a maturity of three years. The terms and conditions of the facility agreement contain customary covenants and undertakings including the requirement to maintain certain net debt to equity ratios. Dividend payments and other distributions to shareholders will also be restricted. As a result of these restrictions dividend payments and other distributions will be subject to an equity injection, or the issuance of other instruments treated as equity under IFRS or other agreed subordinated debt instruments sufficient for Ahlstrom to reduce its net debt to equity ratio by approximately 20 percentage points as calculated based on the company's balance sheet at the end of the first quarter of 2009, as well as to sufficient cash flow. The restrictions do not apply to dividends that become payable under law (minority dividend).
In the transaction, Nordea, Pohjola Bank and Skandinaviska Enskilda Banken (SEB) acted as mandated lead arrangers and bookrunners. The other participants are DnB NORD and Sampo Bank as arrangers and BNP Paribas as co-arranger. Nordea acted as coordinator of the credit facility, SEB as documentation agent and Pohjola Bank acts as facility agent.
Additionally, Ahlstrom has raised new medium term debt of EUR 55 million during the first half of 2009. Together with the new EUR 200 million revolving credit facility, this improves Ahlstrom's debt maturity profile.
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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, such as filters, wipes, flooring, labels, and tapes. Based upon its unique fiber expertise and innovative approach, the company has a strong market position in several business areas in which it operates. Ahlstrom's 6,100 employees serve customers via sales offices and production facilities in more than 20 countries on six continents. In 2008, Ahlstrom's net sales amounted to EUR 1.8 billion. Ahlstrom's share is quoted on the NASDAQ OMX Helsinki. The company website is at www.ahlstrom.com.