Ahlstrom-Munksjö has successfully completed the acquisition of a 60% stake in Chinese decor paper producer Minglian New Materials Technology Co., Ltd. and forms a joint venture that includes a state-of-the-art factory in Xingtai, Hebei Province, China. A non-binding letter of intent with the majority shareholders was initially signed in November 2019 but the Covid-19 pandemic delayed negotiations and the closing of the transaction.
By combining Minglian with its existing decoration business, Ahlstrom-Munksjö creates a global leader in decoration papers with improved cost competitiveness and a strong presence in Europe, America and Asia. The business combination enables Ahlstrom-Munksjö to leverage its brand and capabilities in the large and growing market for high-end decorative paper in China. He will strengthen Ahlstrom-Munksjö’s ability to serve short- and long-term international customers. Ahlstrom-Munksjö will provide technical and operational expertise to Minglian and strengthen Minglian’s customer offering and service in the mid- and high-grade domestic segments as well as adjacent export markets. Minglian provides cost-competitive manufacturing to the combined Decor business platform and opportunities to optimize production and further expand decor paper manufacturing capabilities.
“Minglian fits perfectly with our operating platform in Europe and South America. This will enable us to serve customers in China and its adjacent export markets as well as we do elsewhere. Together we are creating a strong global player in decor paper,” says Tomas Wulkan, Executive Vice President Decor Solutions Business Line.
“We are very pleased with the interest customers have already shown in both the Chinese domestic market and neighboring export markets. Now that we have completed the transaction, we look forward to implementing our ambitious business development and growth plan,” added Anders Falkeström, CEO of Minglian.
Founded in 2016 by a group of entrepreneurs with a background in the Chinese decoration industry, Minglian started a new state-of-the-art factory, an eight-foot paper machine equipped with the best technology available, in November 2018. The annual production capacity of approximately 50,000 tons is currently fully utilized.
The Decor Solutions business area is one of Ahlstrom-Munksjö’s five reporting segments. The Decor business produces paper in a wide range of colors, grades and basis weights for decorative applications, primarily used in the production of laminate surface materials for furniture, flooring and other interior and exterior architectural panels. Production takes place in five factories: Unterkochen and Dettingen in Germany, Tolosa in Spain, Caieiras in Brazil and Arches in France. The annual production capacity is about 210,000 tons.