Kokusai Pulp and Paper has agreed to purchase all shares that majority shareholder Sequana has in Antalis, equating to a 75.2% stake, at €0.10 per share.

The Japanese paper distributor will also purchase the 8.5% stake currently held by Bpifrance Participations, at €0.40 per share, as well as seeking a restructuring agreement with regards to Antalis’ existing syndicated credit facility.  

Upon completion of the purchase, Kokusai Pulp and Paper intends to launch a simplified cash tender offer on all remaining shares of Antalis. The move follows Antalis’ recent confirmation of a restructure that involved UK redundancies.  

A binding agreement was signed by the interested parties on 31 March, but the entire agreement is subject to the views of Antalis’ European Works Council and the issuance of a court order by the Supervisory Judge appointed by the Commercial Court of Nanterre to supervise the liquidation of Sequana.

It also depends upon the receipt of a release of pledges from Bpifrance Participations and Impala Security Solutions B.V. on Antalis shares currently held by Sequana.

The planned restructuring agreement, signed between KPP, Antalis and the lenders of Antalis’ existing syndicated credit facility, provides for the refinancing of €100 million of the outstanding amount via new funds granted by Mizuho Bank, and a write-off of the remaining €287 million.

‘Antalis, its management and employees are very pleased with this combination with KPP which will allow it to open a new chapter in its international evolution,’ said Hervé Poncin, CEO of Antalis. ‘It will provide Antalis with the necessary means to support its development and strengthen its market position.’

KPP has operations in Japan, mainland Asia and Australia, with sales of approximately €3.2 billion. The newly formed Group will boast an annual turnover of approximately €5.3 billion and will supply 3.3 million tons of paper per year.