KPS to Sell Expera Specialty Solutions to Ahlstrom-Munksjö for $615 Million (7/25/2018)

KPS to Sell Expera Specialty Solutions to Ahlstrom-Munksjö for $615 Million (7/25/2018) 

Expera is a leading North American manufacturer of specialty paper products for the industrial and technical, food, and pressure-sensitive release liner segments.

KPS Capital Partners, New York, N.Y., USA, this week announced that it has signed a definitive agreement, through an affiliate, to sell Expera Specialty Solutions, to Ahlstrom-Munksjö Oyj, Finland, a global leader in fiber-based materials, for $615 million.

Expera is a leading North American manufacturer of specialty paper products for the industrial and technical, food, and pressure-sensitive release liner segments. Headquartered in Wisconsin, Expera employs approximately 1,800 people. KPS created Expera in June 2013 by completing two discrete and highly synergistic acquisitions: the technical and specialty paper businesses of Wausau Paper Corp. and Packaging Dynamics Corp., respectively.

Raquel Palmer, a Partner of KPS, said that "the success of our investment in Expera demonstrates KPS' ability to see value where others do not, to buy right and to make businesses better. KPS, in partnership with management, created one of the largest specialty paper companies in the world by: successfully integrating the acquisition of two distinct businesses; achieving meaningful post-merger synergies; investing in new manufacturing capabilities; funding innovation, new product development, and technology; and implementing a culture of continuous improvement. Expera is another example of KPS' investment strategy of achieving success across economic cycles, geographies and industries, and taking immense pride in the company's accomplishments."

Palmer added that "we congratulate and thank Expera's management team. Under KPS' ownership, Expera has more than doubled the profitability of the assets the company acquired through manufacturing excellence, operational improvements, increased productivity, and profitable growth. We are proud that during our ownership, Expera invested a significant amount of capital in a new manufacturing facility and a state-of-the-art silicone coater to support its unique and proprietary aerospace products."

Russ Wanke, CEO of Expera, added that "KPS was the only investor with the vision to recognize that two challenged businesses could have a stronger future together, creating one of the leading specialty paper businesses in North America. Working in partnership with KPS, we invested significantly in our people and operations, focusing on employee engagement, manufacturing excellence, and providing best-in-class product quality and support to our customers. We are grateful to KPS for providing our team with the expertise, capital, and resources needed to grow our business and to further our culture of continuous improvement. As part of Ahlstrom-Munksjö, Expera will remain committed to our core strategic imperatives and we look forward to a great future. We thank our customers, suppliers, and employees for their contributions to our success."

KPS thanks the United Steelworkers of America for its support in the creation and ultimate success of Expera.

Completion of the transaction, which is expected in the second half of 2018, is subject to customary closing conditions and approvals.

Additional information regarding Expera, its manufacturing facilities, and its product offerings can be found online. KPS investment strategy and portfolio companies are described in detail online.