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Ahlstrom to Divest Wipes Fabrics Business to Suominen

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Ahlstrom Corp., Helsinki, Finland, this week agreed to divest its wipes fabrics business area, Home and Personal, to Suominen Corp., a Finnish publicly listed company. The total value of the transaction is approximately EUR 170 million in cash.

Of the EUR 170 million, Ahlstrom has committed to use a total of EUR 30 million for shares in Suominen, which will finance the transaction through debt and proceeds received in a planned directed share issue. After a successful share issue, Ahlstrom will become the largest shareholder in Suominen with a minimum stake of 20% and a maximum stake of 28.2%, depending on the size of the share issue.

The transaction creates a company that can reinforce its position as a global leader in developing and manufacturing roll goods nonwovens for wipes. The new entity will be stronger in serving its existing and future customers by offering a comprehensive product range in wipes fabrics as well as a broad market presence.

In 2010, Ahlstrom's Home and Personal business area generated net sales of about EUR 291 million and an operating profit of EUR 6.1 million. It has manufacturing plants in Spain, Italy, Brazil, and the U.S. It is a global market leader in the nonwovens for wipes market of approximately EUR 1.5 billion per year.


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