Antalis-IPO and the sale of Arjowiggins Security are part of Sequana's strategic plan that should secure financial means necessary to meet its obligations and enable the holding company to exit creditor protection within two to three months.
French holding company Sequana Capital SA has filed for protection under safeguard proceedings of the French restructuring and insolvency law. In a press release issued today, the company explained that it is searching protection of the commercial court "in order to carry out the operations that will enable the group to secure the means to fulfill its obligations and pursue the implementation of its strategic plan."
Sequana links its decision to file for creditor protection to the latest ruling by the High Court of Justice in London, which has ordered Sequana to pay $138.4m to British-American Tobacco (BAT) Industries in a litigation case over eight-year-old dividend payments by Sequana's former subsidiary Windward Prospects. Even though Sequana confirmed that it intended to appeal the ruling and the court in London had granted the company a stay of execution on the payment, the litigation posed important risks for the group, Sequana explained.
According to Sequana, the sauvegarde-proceedings affect only the holding company and not its two subsidiaries, paper and packaging merchant Antalis and paper manufacturer Arjowiggins, as the BAT-litigation case did not create any liabilities for the two companies.
Antalis International shares to be floated on the stock exchange in Paris
The strategic plan includes the sale of Arjowiggins Security division: Sequana has reportedly already entered into exclusive talks with security and banknote paper manufacturer Oberthur Fiducaire on the divestment of Arjowiggins Security BV including its VHP banknote paper mill in Appeldoorn, Netherlands. Furthermore, Sequana intends to float its distribution arm Antalis, one of the leading paper merchants in Europe.
The transactions included in Sequana's strategic plan are reportedly to be completed under the control of the commercial court in the first-half of 2017.