SCA to Acquire Wausau Paper for $513 Million
"The Wausau Paper product portfolio complements SCA's offerings in North America and gives us access to premium tissue in that region." – Magnus Groth, President and CEO, SCA.
Oct. 13, 2015 (Press Release) - SCA, a leading global hygiene and forest products company, and Wausau Paper Corp. (“Wausau Paper”) (WPP), a North American Away-from-Home tissue company, announced today that SCA will acquire Wausau Paper for USD 10.25 per share or total consideration of USD 513 million (approximately SEK 4.2 billion) in cash.
The boards of directors of both companies have unanimously approved a definitive merger agreement.
The merger consideration represents a premium of 40.6% to Wausau Paper's closing price on October 12, 2015 and a premium of 11.3% to the Wausau Paper 52 week volume weighted average price. SCA has funding available.
Wausau Paper is one of the largest Away-from-Home tissue companies in North America. With approximately 900 employees, the company manufactures and markets Away-from-Home towel and tissue products along with soap and dispensing systems through its Artisan™, DublNature®, DublSoft® and EcoSoft® brands. Wausau Paper's advanced tissue technology with manufacturing flexibility enables it to produce its towels and tissue entirely from recycled paper, which will further contribute to SCA's efforts to create environmentally-friendly products and extend its sustainability commitment. The combined operations will provide customers with access to a comprehensive portfolio of food service offerings and premium tissue and washroom products.
Following completion of the acquisition, SCA will continue to honor Wausau Paper's existing customer contracts and programs.
“SCA is the world leading supplier of Away-from-Home tissue with the global brand Tork®. The acquisition of Wausau Paper is an excellent strategic fit and strengthens our presence in North America. The Wausau Paper product portfolio complements SCA's offerings in North America and gives us access to premium tissue in that region. We expect the acquisition to generate benefits for SCA and our customers,” says Magnus Groth, President and CEO, SCA.
“Our Board has undertaken a thorough process to explore all of Wausau Paper's options and has determined SCA's offer creates substantial value and is in the best interests of the company and its shareholders. This transaction is a testament to our talented team of employees and the strong, focused company that they have worked to create. Our customers will benefit from expanded products and services from a company that shares similar values around customer service and sustainability,” says Michael C. Burandt, Chairman and CEO of Wausau Paper.
Wausau Paper's reported sales for the first half year 2015 amounted to USD 175 million (SEK 1.5 billion), EBITDA of USD 32 million (SEK 268 million) and operating profit of USD 11 million (SEK 94 million). Wausau Paper's reported sales in 2014 amounted to USD 352 million (SEK 2.4 billion), EBITDA of USD 38 million (SEK 263 million) and operating profit of USD -3 million (SEK -19 million). On a pro forma basis, giving effect to the acquisition, SCA's sales for the full year 2014 would have increased from SEK 104.1 billion to SEK 106.5 billion. Pro forma operating profit for the full year 2014, excluding items affecting comparability, would have been on a similar level and amounted to approximately SEK 11.8 billion.
“This acquisition will benefit customers by providing access to the superior sales, service, innovation and logistics that the combined business can provide. It will expand SCA's premium tissue and washroom assortment and give Wausau Paper customers the ability to purchase products from SCA's industry-leading food service offerings - in essence offering customers a 'one-stop shop' for all professional hygiene needs. Furthermore, we look forward to welcoming Wausau Paper's employees to the SCA family,” says Don Lewis, President, SCA Americas.
The acquisition is expected to generate annual synergies amounting to approximately USD 40 million with full effect three years after closing. Synergies are expected in sourcing, production, logistics, reduced imports, increased volumes of premium products and reduced SG&A costs. The restructuring costs are expected to amount to approximately USD 50 million.
The completion of the transaction is subject to Wausau Paper shareholder and regulatory approvals. The Wausau Paper board will recommend that its shareholders vote in favor of the acquisition by SCA. Closing is expected to take place during Q1 2016.
BofA Merrill Lynch is serving as financial advisor to SCA and Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP is serving as SCA's legal advisor. Evercore Group LLC is serving as financial advisor to Wausau Paper and Shearman & Sterling LLP is serving as Wausau Paper's legal advisor.
SCA is a leading global hygiene and forest products company. The Group develops and produces sustainable personal care, tissue and forest products. Sales are conducted in about 100 countries under many strong brands, including the leading global brands TENA and Tork, and regional brands, such as Libero, Libresse, Lotus, Nosotras, Saba, Tempo and Vinda. As Europe's largest private forest owner, SCA places considerable emphasis on sustainable forest management. The Group has about 44,000 employees. Sales in 2014 amounted to approximately SEK 104bn (EUR 11.4bn). SCA was founded in 1929, has its headquarters in Stockholm, Sweden, and is listed on NASDAQ OMX Stockholm. To learn more, please visit: www.sca.com.
About Wausau Paper
Wausau Paper produces a complete line of Away-from-Home towel and tissue products that are marketed along with soap and dispensing system products under a number of brands including Artisan, DublSoft, DublNature, EcoSoft, and related custom brands. Wausau Paper is listed on the NYSE under the symbol WPP. To learn more, please visit: www.wausaupaper.com.