MB Funds to sell Kotkamills Group to Mayr-Melnhof

MB Funds have signed an agreement to sell the entire share capital of Kotkamills Group Oyj to Austrian Mayr-Melnhof Group.

Kotkamills specializes in the production of barrier board, both Folding Boxboard (FBB) and Foodservice Board (FSB), and Saturating Base Kraft paper (SBK) at its integrated mill. In addition, Kotkamills is also a producer of whitewood.

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MB Funds together with co-investors and the management team acquired Kotkamills in 2015. After MB’s acquisition, Kotkamills invested EUR 180 million in order to successfully convert a paper mill located in Kotka (Finland) to a state-of-the art modern board mill producing folding boxboard and fully recyclable plastic-free foodservice board.

The most modern consumer board machine (BM2) in the world, and the only one with online coating capabilities based on an in-house developed proprietary online water-based coating process, was launched in 2016. With differentiated proprietary technology and years of product development Kotkamills can provide a competitive advantage as brand owners and legislation move towards sustainability. The BM2 has total capacity of 400k tons per annum with the flexibility to produce both Folding Boxboard (FBB) and Foodservice Board (FSB). Kotkamills employs approximately 500 employees and the estimated sales in 2020 is approximately EUR 380 million.

”Kotkamills is the largest investment in MB’s investment history. It has been impressive to see how Markku Hämäläinen’s (CEO, Kotkamills) vision of a plastic-free barrier board machine has realized into a great success and how saturating base kraft paper products have taken the leading position in the global markets. This has been made possible by the professional expertise of the entire Kotkamills personnel and their genuine engagement in numerous development and customer projects. “, comments Hannu Puhakka, the Chairman of the Board of Kotkamills. “I would like to thank especially the management and the entire personnel of Kotkamills for their great work during the recent years in developing Kotkamills to a significant board company. We are also pleased that Kotkamills gets a strong owner with deep industry experience from Mayr-Melnhof.”, continues Hannu Puhakka.

Mayr-Melnhof Group is Europe’s largest producer of cartonboard and folding cartons. The services of MM are focused on these core businesses, which are managed in two operating segments, MM Karton and MM Packaging. The group employs around 10,000 people and generates sales of around EUR 2.5 billion. MM Karton has six European cartonboard production locations with a total annual capacity of more than 1.7 million tons. The product range covers the entire range of recycled cartonboard grades rounded off by a growing position in virgin fiber-based cartonboard. MM Karton has sales worldwide with a focus in Europe.

The transaction is subject to customary closing conditions and regulatory approval. Closing of the transaction is expected by mid of 2021.

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Kotkamills, located in Finland, is an experienced and responsible global partner, manufacturing innovative products created from wood, a renewable natural resource. Our range of sustainable products includes food safe consumer boards, the high-quality saturating base kraft paper Absorbex®, and ecological wood products. The fully recyclable AEGLE® and ISLA® boards, produced since 2016, were complemented in 2018 with water-based dispersion barriers replacing plastics used in packaging and food service applications. All our products are environmentally friendly, recyclable and safe to use.

MB Funds is a leading Finnish private equity investor founded in 1988. Total assets under MB Funds management stand at 0.5 billion euro with prime Finnish institutions as its main fund investors. MB Funds has successfully invested in approximately 40 mid-sized companies in the Nordics. www.mb.fi

Mayr-Melnhof Group is Europe’s largest producer of cartonboard and folding cartons. The services of MM are focused on these core businesses, which are managed in two operating segments, MM Karton and MM Packaging. The group employs around 10,000 people and generates sales of around EUR 2.5 billion. MM Karton has six European cartonboard production locations with a total annual capacity of more than 1.7 million tons. The product range covers the entire range of recycled cartonboard grades rounded off by a growing position in virgin fiber-based cartonboard. MM Karton has sales worldwide, with a focus in Europe.

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