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PGI strikes deal to buy Fiberweb

September 18, 2013

Parties agree on cash offer to create nonwovens powerhouse.

Two of the world's largest nonwovens producers will likely merge following an agreement whereby Polymer Group Inc. will acquire Fiberweb. The two parties announced today they reached an agreement and the board of Fiberweb will recommend shareholders approve the cash offer.

Under the terms of the deal, Fiberweb shareholders wil receive a total value of 103.2 pence per Fiberweb share and retain the interim dividend of 1.2 pence per share. This offer represents a premium of 17% to the closing price on August 19, which was the last business day prior to the Fiberweb announcement it had received a revised offer from PGI.
“The Fiberweb board is pleased to recommend this offer, which we believe allows Fiberweb shareholders to realize attractive value from their investment,” says Fiberweb chairman Malcolm Coster. “While Fiberweb remains on track to achieve its medium-term targets over time, the process would have entailed significant ongoing investment, with attendant execution risk. As part of PGI, we look forward to Fiberweb’s businesses flourishing within a larger and more global entity, able to provide the resources necessary to accelerate their development.”

A maker of a diverse range of nonwovens, London, U.K.-based Fiberweb specializes in technical applications and geosynthetics. Two years ago, the company significantly downsized itself through the sale of its hygiene-related assets to Fitesa. Its 2012 sales were about $460 million.

Meanwhile, PGI is heavily invested in the hygiene market with spunmelt assets located around the globe. It has made no secret of its intent to diversify further into more technical applications and already has a decent foothold in a number of industrial and filtration related areas. In 2012, its sales were $1.15 billion.

“We are delighted that our proposal, which provides Fiberweb’s shareholders with a healthy premium has been recommended by the Fiberweb board,” says Mike Zafirovski, chairman of PGI. “We are now looking forward to completing the acquisition.”

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