EQT to buy Munksjö paper business

Stockholm-based private equity firm EQT has signed an agreement with Ireland’s Jefferson Smurfit Group to acquire its Munksjö speciality paper business.

EQT, the Nordic buyout house, has agreed to buy speciality paper firm Munksjö from Jefferson Smurfit Group. The consideration for the deal was not officially disclosed, but The Deal reported that EQT was paying about $600 million (€443 million) for the business.

Based in Jonkoping, Sweden, Munksjö is a producer of décor and speciality paper. Its fastest growing product area is décor paper, which is used in laminates in the manufacture of flooring, kitchen furnishings, furniture, walls and other interior furnishings. Munksjö has a global market share of approximately 25 percent in décor paper.

Munksjö has sales of approximately €480 million, 1,500 employees and nine mills in Sweden, Germany, Spain, Italy, the US and Norway.

“EQT will ensure that the independent and focused Munksjö will be provided with sufficient resources and attention to continue to develop the business together with the management team, so as to capture its full potential,” said Caspar Callerström, a partner at EQT.

Dublin-based Jefferson Smurfit said it would use proceeds from the sale to pay down debt. Jefferson was advised on the deal by UBS and JP Morgan Chase & Co, while Deutsche Bank has provided an unspecified amount of debt financing to EQT.

The investment in Munksjö is being made from the 2001-vintage EQT III fund, which closed on €2 billion. EQT III was the forerunner to the EQT IV fund, which closed on €2.5 billion in August 2004.