Mondi Ltd., based in South Africa, and SCA, based in Sweden, have jointly divested their stakes in Aylesford Newsprint, a recycled newsprint mill operating in Aylesford, U.K., to the private equity firm Martland Holding.
Aylesford Newsprint was formed in 1993 as a joint venture between SCA Forest Products and Mondi. Aylesford operates two paper machines and has an annual capacity of 400,000 metric tons of 100-percent-recycled newsprint per year. SCA and Mondi each held a 50 percent stake in the mill.
According to both SCA and Mondi, the newsprint mill has been posting losses on an annual basis over the past several years. In a release, Mondi, based in South Africa, notes that it will take a loss of around €71 million on the sale.
Mondi Group CEO David Hathorn says, “This 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 U.K."
Landy Kouakou, Martland Holding executive director, says, "We are pleased to partner with Aylesford Newsprint's management and employees for the future success of the company. Aylesford Newsprint's quality industrial asset combined with a strong balance sheet will allow us to build long-term value under current market conditions."
“The transaction opens up new opportunities to reinforce the company’s position as a U.K. newsprint producer,” says Ian Broxup, acting managing director of Aylesford Newsprint. ”We are excited about building up the new relationship with Martland Holdings.”