Nonwovens producer Fiberweb has announced it is in primary discussions with fellow nonwovens maker Avgol regarding the possible purchase of the company. Avgol has reportedly offered to pay 100 pence per share for Fiberweb in cash plus the right to receive and retain a further dividend to be declared by the board of Fiberweb (in its absolute discretion) for the year ended December 31, 2007 of 2.5 pence per Fiberweb share.
On the basis of this proposal, the Board of Fiberweb has agreed to grant Avgol access to company information to allow it to conduct due diligence. In addition, Fiberweb has entered into a non-solicitation and inducement fee agreement with Avgol in connection with the possible offer for Fiberweb.
Based on the information available to it, the Board of Fiberweb, which has been advised by JPMorgan Cazenove, has confirmed that it would be prepared to recommend an offer by Avgol at this level if such an offer were to be made. The price of 100 pence per share represents a premium of 163% per share to Fiberweb’s current selling prices
A maker of spunmelt nonwovens with facilities in Israel, North Carolina and China as well as a Greenfield site currently under construction in Russia, Avgol has invested heavily in nonwovens technology during the past decade. In 2007, it reported sales around $225 million.
A purchase of Fiberweb, one of the world’s most diversified nonwovens producers, would grant Avgol, whose sole technology is spunmelt nonwovens, instant access to a number of nonwovens technologies including airlaid, thermal bonded, chemical bonded and meltblown.
Since being separated from its former parent company BBA Group in 2006, Fiberweb has been busy streamlining its business. These measures included the closure of several hygiene-related assets in North America and the sale of its hygiene wipes business—including spunlace assets in South Carolina, Italy and Spain—to Ahlstrom.