Actis to exit paper packaging manufacturer

The global investor has agreed to divest its 30 percent holdings in China's Inpac International to trade buyer Stora Enso, marking its second Asian exit this month.

Emerging markets specialist Actis has agreed to exit its 30 percent stake in Chinese printed paper packaging manufacturer Inpac International to European trade buyer Stora Enso for an undisclosed sum, the firm said in a statement.

Actis first backed Inpac with $17.7 million in 2007. According to the statement, the company had managed to strengthen its operational position following the investment and had therefore caught the eye of global paper packaging and wood products company Stora Enso which was looking to gain a greater foothold in China.

Actis declined to comment on valuations following the transaction, however according to a source close to the deal, Stora Enso is buying 51 percent of Inpac International at an “enterprise value of about €82 million”.

“The 51 percent share to be acquired by Stora Enso, includes the 30 percent share sold by Actis,” the source continued, while declining to elaborate further. 

According to a separate statement on Inpac's website, Stora Enso together with Hebei Inpac will be the sole shareholders in the paper packaging company following the deal.

Hebei-based Inpac sells its products, including gift boxes, brochures, pulp trays, plastic trays, metal cans, handbags, corrugated paper and cartons, via subsidiaries from various locations including Hebei, Beijing, Dongguan, India and Korea.

Actis has been actively offloading its Asian holdings as of late. Earlier this month, the London-based firm said it had agreed to sell its 95 percent stake in Sri Lankan gas manufacturer Ceylon Oxygen to trade buyer Linde Group for an undisclosed sum.

The firm paid an undisclosed sum to acquire a 71 percent stake in Ceylon from chemical company Yara International ASA in September 2006. The deal required Actis to make a mandatory offer to acquire the company’s remaining shares.

The firm is also reportedly looking to exit India’s Paras Pharmaceuticals, which it co-owns alongside Sequoia Capital. The company is currently the subject of a bidding war between five drug makers – Pfizer, UK-based GlaxoSmithKline, French company Sanofi Aventis, and Japan’s Daiichi Sankyo and Taisho Pharma – according to media reports.