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Glatfelter acquires wallpaper maker



Published March 13, 2013
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Glatfelter has signed a definitive agreement to purchase Dresden Papier GmbH from Fortress Paper Ltd. (TSE: FTP) for €160 million ($209 million).  Based in Heidenau, Germany (near Dresden) Dresden Papier is the leading global supplier of nonwoven wallpaper base materials and is a major supplier to most of the world’s largest wallpaper manufacturers. Nonwoven wallpaper offers superior performance and characteristics such as dry strip-ability, higher tear resistance and no material shrinkage or expansion when wet. As a result, nonwovens are increasingly the product of choice for wallpaper installers and design professionals in Europe, with significant growth potential in Asia.
 
“Glatfelter’s agreement to acquire Dresden Papier demonstrates our commitment to building leading positions in niche global growth markets for specialty papers and fiber-based engineered materials,” says Dante Parrini, chairman and CEOof Glatfelter. “Dresden Papier has built a preeminent position in nonwoven wallpaper materials – as both the cost and quality leader because of its innovative products, proprietary manufacturing techniques, and long-standing customer relationships.
 
“The acquisition of Dresden Papier will add another industry-leading nonwovens product line to our Composite Fibers business, and broaden our relationship with leading producers of consumer and industrial products. Despite the ongoing economic challenges in parts of Europe, we believe the global nonwoven wallpaper business will continue to grow at a compound annual growth rate of at least 10%. This acquisition will also provide additional operational leverage and growth opportunities for Glatfelter globally, particularly in large markets such as Russia and China, and other developing markets in eastern Europe and Asia.”
 
In 2012, Dresden’s revenues were €117 million ($151 million), and EBITDA were €30 million ($38 million). Dresden employs approximately 146 people at its state-of-the-art, 60,000-metric-ton-capacity manufacturing facility in Heidenau, Germany.
 
Glatfelter plans to finance the acquisition through a combination of cash on hand and debt. As of December 31, 2012, Glatfelter had a cash balance of $98 million and $345 million available under its revolving credit facility.
 
The proposed transaction, which is subject to customary closing conditions, including receipt of German and Ukrainian regulatory approvals, is expected to close during the second quarter of 2013. Upon closing, the acquired business will become part of Glatfelter’s Composite Fibers business unit, which manufactures fiber-based products for growing global niche markets, including filtration papers for tea and single serve coffee applications, metallized papers, composite laminates and technical specialties.