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US buyer for UK newsprint producer

UK/Sweden – UK-based Aylesford Newsprint, which has the capacity to produce around 400 000 tonnes of newsprint per year from 100% recycled fibre, has been bought by US investment holding company Martland Holdings LLC from its existing joint owners, namely South Africa’€™s Mondi Group and Svenska Cellulosa Aktiebolaget (SCA) of Sweden.

Landry Kouakou, Executive Director at Martland Holdings, says of the acquisition: ‘€˜Aylesford’€™s high-quality asset base, its unique industrial know-how combined with a strong balance sheet with no financial debt and an improved operating structure will represent key assets for the future. We are long-term investors with the commitment to build lifetime relationships with the company’€™s customers in Europe and overseas, enhance operational excellence while remaining nimble and flexible in serving our clients.’€™

According to Mondi Group’€™s CEO David Hathorn, the 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’€™.

Aylesford Newsprint’€™s production capacity represents around one third of the UK total, according to Martland Holdings. The business generated revenues exceeding £150 million (US$ 240 million) last year. Ian Broxup, Acting Managing Director of Aylesford Newsprint, adds: ‘€˜The transaction opens up new opportunities to reinforce the company’€™s position as a UK newsprint producer.’€™

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