OpenGate Capital, a global private buyout firm, announced today that it has completed the acquisition of DS Smith Packaging Papeterie de Nantes SAS from DS Smith Plc, a global, leading provider of corrugated and plastics packaging, supported by paper and recycling operations headquartered in the United Kingdom. The Nantes mill, located in Nantes, France, is a specialty producer of white top testliner paper used in a variety of packaging applications. Terms of the acquisition were not disclosed.
The Nantes mill produces white top testliner made from 100% recycled fiber, with best in class quality and printability in a wide grammage and trim range. The business has approximately 70 employees and a production capacity of approximately 50kT per year. Under terms of the acquisition, the mill will continue to supply materials to its former parent company, DS Smith, and over time and under OpenGate’s ownership, will expand its customer base throughout France and Europe.
Julien Lagrèze, OpenGate Capital’s Partner overseeing all European investments stated, “The acquisition of the Nantes mill is a direct result of nearly a year-long discussion with DS Smith. We were proactive in identifying the mill as a perfect complement to NorPaper given its white top recycled testliner production capabilities, particularly with large widths and the business’s ability to produce testliner III “brown” that will greatly enhance NorPaper’s product offering.” OpenGate Capital acquired NorPaper Avot-Vallée from Canadian paper conglomerate, Cascades in 2011. NorPaper is a leading producer of white top testliner paper that is sold to European packaging manufacturers. Laurent Glachant, head of NorPaper, will supervise the Nantes mill and spearhead its commercial efforts and development strategy. Overall, NorPaper and the Nantes mill will have a combined annual capacity of 200kT, hence the business will rank number one in France and among the top five in Europe.
Fabien Marcantetti, Principal with OpenGate Capital’s European office, who worked very closely on this transaction, stated, “We will be examining all means to optimize the Nantes mill from an operational perspective through synergies with NorPaper. We will also seek to continue investing in the business to uphold high efficiency levels and increase production capacity. We are thrilled to have completed this acquisition and look forward to working with the team at Nantes to create new value.”