Mondi Group divests its interest in Aylesford Newsprint Holdings Limited

Publication Date:

02 October 2012

As part of the dual listed company structure, Mondi Limited and Mondi plc (together “Mondi Group”) notify both the JSE Limited (“JSE”) and the London Stock Exchange of matters required to be disclosed under the JSE Listings Requirements and/or the Disclosure Rules and Transparency Rules and/or the Listing Rules of the United Kingdom Listing Authority.

Mondi Group and Svenska Cellulosa Aktiebolaget (“SCA”) have sold their 100% interest in the jointly owned Aylesford Newsprint Holdings Limited (“Aylesford Newsprint” or the “Company”) to The Martland Holdings. The Martland Holdings is an independent private equity firm which focuses on acquiring non-core divisions of corporations and private companies worldwide.

Aylesford Newsprint, located in Kent, UK, has capacity to produce approximately 400 thousand tonnes of newsprint per annum from 100% recycled fibre. The Company supplies the major national newspapers groups in the UK and exports some of its production to mainland Europe.

The shares in Aylesford Newsprint were sold for a nominal consideration satisfied in cash at completion. Immediately prior to completion, the Company was re-capitalised, with the proceeds used to repay in full its interest bearing debt and leave net cash of GBP23 million. For the year ended 31 December 2011, Aylesford Newsprint generated negative EBITDA before special items of GBP4 million and net loss before special items of GBP16 million. Immediately before completion, Aylesford Newsprint pro forma gross assets amounted to approximately GBP99 million.

Mondi Group’s loss on disposal of its 50% interest in the Company will be approximately EUR71 million, accounted for as a non operating special item, and the estimated negative cash flow effect of this transaction will be approximately EUR17 million.

Mondi Group CEO David Hathorn said “This disposal allows us to continue to focus on our core businesses, while creating an opportunity for Aylesford to continue supplying newsprint to the major national newspaper groups in the UK”.

The Martland Holdings Executive Director Landry Kouakou said "We are pleased to partner with Aylesford Newsprint's management and employees for the future success of the company. Aylesford Newsprint's quality industrial asset combined with a strong balance sheet will allow us to build long-term value under current market conditions.”

Editors’ notes

Mondi is an international packaging and paper Group, with production operations across 29 countries and revenues of EUR5.7 billion in 2011. The Group's key operations are located in central Europe, Russia and South Africa and as at the end of 2011, Mondi Group employed 23,400 people.

Mondi Group is fully integrated across the paper and packaging process, from the growing of wood and the manufacture of pulp and paper (including recycled paper), to the conversion of packaging paper into corrugated packaging, industrial bags and coatings.

The Group is principally involved in the manufacture of packaging paper, converted packaging products and uncoated fine paper (UFP).

Mondi Group has a dual listed company structure, with a primary listing on the JSE Limited for Mondi Limited under the ticker code MND and a premium listing on the London Stock Exchange for Mondi plc, under the ticker code MNDI. The Group has been recognised for its sustainability through its inclusion in the FTSE4Good Global, European and UK Index Series (since 2008) and the JSE's Socially Responsible Investment (SRI) Index since 2007. The Group was also included in the FTSE350 Carbon Disclosure Leadership Index for the second year.

Mondi Limited
(Incorporated in the Republic of South Africa)
(Registration number: 1967/013038/06)
JSE share code: MND ISIN: ZAE000156550

Mondi plc
(Incorporated in England and Wales)
(Registration number: 6209386)
JSE share code: MNP ISIN: GB00B1CRLC47
LSE share code: MNDI

Sponsor in South Africa: UBS South Africa (Pty) Ltd

Last change: 11.11.2013