1998-06-03

Perstorp Sells Plastic Systems Division to Industri Kapital

Perstorp AB, which is continuing to consolidate its operations, has concluded an agreement to sell the Perstorp Plastic Systems Division. Industri Kapital is acquiring the greater part of the shares in a new company which essentially consists of the entire former division. Perstorp will remain as a shareholder in the new company. The owners intend to further develop the company with a view to listing the shares publicly within three to five years.

"Perstorp Plastic Systems is a global leader in the market for plastic-based returnable systems used in the field of transport and materials handling, an area that we believe will become increasingly important in the future," says Harald Mix, Deputy Chief Executive of Industri Kapital. "The company has an exciting development potential and will participate actively in the ongoing structural changes within the industry. It fits in well with Industri Kapital's strategy, which is to invest in companies with strong management and interesting development potential."

With the sale, Perstorp is strengthening its focus on selected areas of chemistry and materials technology that have a distinct potential for high growth and profitability.

"Since the beginning of the last fiscal year, the Perstorp Group has divested operations with total annual sales of SEK 5 billion at the same time that rationalization and productivity-improvement measures have been implemented in all units," says Åke Fredriksson, Perstorp's Chief Executive Officer. "As a result of the sale, Perstorp will release capital in a net amount of nearly SEK 1 billion. Our strong financial situation enables us to make aggressive investments in our core areas of chemicals and surfaces, where our priority is to achieve substantial profitable growth while maintaining our current focus."

"I see this deal as a logical step and a positive development for Perstorp Plastic Systems," says Wiking Henricsson, President of Perstorp Plastic Systems. "We will now become an independent operation that can be further developed and continue to work actively for the restructuring of the sector. This will enable us to strengthen our leading position, create added value for our customers and ensure sustainable profitability."

Industri Kapital owns 65% of the new company, Perstorp AB owns 30% and Plastic Systems' management group 5%. The agreement between the parties is subject, among other things, to the granting of the necessary approval by the relevant competition authorities. The intention is to also include the French portion of the business in the agreement and consultations related to this will be initiated with the French labor organizations as soon as possible.

The sale will not have any impact on Perstorp's profit. The sale will reduce the Group's total assets and result in a higher equity/assets ratio and an improved return on capital employed. Pro forma financial statements showing the Perstorp Group's income statement and balance sheet as if the sale had taken place at the beginning of the current fiscal year are being presented in Perstorp AB's interim report on June 3.

Perstorp Plastic Systems, with its head office in Perstorp, Sweden, had sales of slightly more than SEK 1.4 billion in the most recent fiscal year. It has approximately 1,000 employees, with production in ten countries in Europe, North America and Asia. Following a comprehensive efficiency-improvement and rationalization program, the former negative trend of results has been reversed and there has been stronger demand for the unit's products.

The Perstorp Group is a world leader in markets for various chemistry and materials technology applications. After the divestment, the company will have annual sales of slightly more than SEK 10 billion, with about 6,000 employees.

Industri Kapital is a private equity investment firm in Northern Europe with assets under management amounting to more than one billion euros (approximately SEK 9 billion). Since 1989 the fund has made 25 investments in companies in different industries. Investors in the fund are mainly well-known Nordic, European and North American institutional investors.

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