July 24, 2018 / 7:23 AM / in 3 months

Ahlstrom-Munksjo to buy U.S. specialty paper maker Expera for $615 mln

HELSINKI, July 24 (Reuters) - Finnish fibre materials company Ahlstrom-Munksjo has agreed to buy U.S. specialty paper maker Expera from KPS Capital Partners for $615 million to boost its growth in North America, the companies said late on Monday.

Expera, with four paper mills and two integrated pulp mills, reported revenue of $721 million last year. Ahlstrom had sales of $2.6 billion.

Expera’s products include food wrapping and backings for tape applications.

“As a larger company with a strong balance sheet and greater earnings generation this transaction paves the way for further profitable growth to be carried out both organically and through acquisitions,” Ahlstrom CEO Hans Sohlstrom said in a statement.

Ahlstrom said it would conduct a rights offer of about 150 million euros ($175 million) this year to finance the deal.

It expects cost synergies of about $10 million by the end of 2019.

Shares in Ahlstrom were up by about 5 percent by 0710 GMT.

The deal, subject to regulatory approvals, is expected to close this year.

$1 = 0.8569 euros Reporting by Jussi Rosendahl; editing by Jason Neely

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