Paperlinx sells Eastern European assets to Heinzel Group
Paperlinx announces the sale of operations in Eastern Europe and South Africa to complete the strategic review started a year ago. CEO Toby Marchant will step down at the end of July.
Australian paper merchant and distributor Paperlinx is selling its Eastern European paper assets to the Heinzel Group. In a statement issued to the Australian Securities Exchange, the company announced it has entered into an agreement with Heinzel regarding the divestment of its paper operations in Croatia, Hungary, Serbia, Slovakia and Slovenia for €19.6m. The company expects net proceeds after debt and transaction costs to be €17.5m
In addition, Paperlinx has agreed to sell its operations in South-Africa to the local management with net proceeds of ZAR50m, approximately €5m. The divestments in Eastern Europe and South Africa are expected to close over the next three months, Paperlinx said.
According to the company, the sale of paper assets in Eastern Europe and South Africa concludes the strategic review started twelve months ago in order to improve the group's liquidity, reduce organisational complexity and reduce expenses. In 2012, Paperlinx had already sold its Italian subsidiary Polyedra to the Lecta Group and divested its US paper operations Spicers USA and Kelly Paper to Central National-Gottesman.
Paperlinx' CEO Toby Marchant resigned from his position and will leave the company at the end of July. Paperlinx executive vice-president Dave Allen will serve as interim chief executive officer while the company begins the search for a new CEO, the company stated.
Heinzel Group's subsidiary Europapier grows in CEE markets
Europapier, a Heinzel Group subsidiary will take over 100% of the shares in Paperlinx' paper merchant businesses in Eastern Europe and become the sole owner of these companies. The companies involved include Budapest Papir, Bratislavska Papierenska Spolocnost, Alpe Papir Trgovina na debelo, Adria Papir and Dunav Papir.
With the acquistion of Paperlinx' paper merchant businesses in Hungary, Slovakia, Slovenia, Croatia and Serbia, Heinzel Groups aims to strengthen its position in Central and Eastern Europe. The deal is still subject to approval by antitrust authorities, Europapier said.
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