Ahlstrom has signed an agreement with Zhejiang Kan Specialty Material Co (KAN Paper) to acquire a majority in a specialty papers company in China. The assets in the joint venture comprise a paper machine, water treatment, power plant and 15 hectares of land in Kaifeng, China as well as the crepe paper business of KAN Paper. Ahlstrom will hold 70% of the shares in the joint venture.
The new entity will be part of Ahlstrom's Technical Papers business area and will serve the local crepe paper markets. The market for crepe papers is estimated to grow approximately 15% annually in China. Ahlstrom currently operates one manufacturing site in China producing dust filtration materials as well as three sales offices.
The production capacity of the Kaifeng plant is currently 12 000 tons. The plant is located 200 kilometers southwest of Hangzhou and it employs 130 people.
"The deal is another step ahead in Ahlstrom's growth strategy, expanding our operations in the fast-growing markets outside Europe,” commented Jukka Moisio, president and CEO of Ahlstrom. “The joint venture further strengthens our position as the global leader in the specialty papers markets and also creates a platform that enables future expansions of our businesses in China."