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OptiGroup and Inapa have signed an agreement to combine their paper distribution businesses in Germany

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OptiGroup and Inapa - Investimentos, Participações e Gestão, S.A. today announce that they have signed an agreement to combine their respective paper distribution operations in Germany, Papyrus Deutschland GmbH & Co KG and Papier Union GmbH, and thereby create a stronger and more stable and successful platform for customers, suppliers and employees in future.

As part of the transaction, OptiGroup has signed a binding agreement, subject only to competition clearance by the German Federal Cartel Office (Bundeskartellamt), to sell its German paper distribution business, Papyrus Deutschland GmbH & KG, to Inapa who intend to combine the business with their German subsidiary, Papier Union GmbH. The transaction is expected to be finalised in December 2018, subject to customary approval by the German Federal Cartel Office. In 2017, Papyrus Deutschland GmbH & KG had a turnover of EUR 561 million and Papier Union had turnover of EUR 389 million.

The transaction consideration will, subject to an EGM decision by the shareholders of Inapa, be settled in part by OptiGroup receiving a convertible bond as a debt instrument issued by Inapa, a stock listed company (sociedade aberta) under the laws of Portugal. The convertible bond will, upon full conversion, and at the discretion of OptiGroup AB be convertible into 23% of all shares and voting rights in Inapa. The proceeds from the transaction will be used by OptiGroup to further strengthen their businesses in other countries. Further details of the transaction have not been disclosed.

OptiGroup’s President and CEO, Christoph Sander comments :

"The paper merchanting market in Germany has been under severe pressure in recent years from a combination of reducing demand, significant price increases from manufacturers and the entry of new competitors. Consequently, it is necessary for traditional paper merchants to restructure and strengthen their platform and customer offering in order to compete successfully in future.

We believe that the combination of Papier Union and Papyrus Deutschland will create a stronger, more stable and successful platform for customers, suppliers and employees in Germany. Inapa will be a good and motivated owner to further develop the combined company to its full potential in the German market.

Our Papyrus businesses in other countries outside Germany are unaffected by this announcement as they continue to enjoy strong positions in their local markets.

Today’s announcement is therefore also another major step in OptiGroup’s strategy to strengthen and rebalance our portfolio of businesses. The additional capital released through this sale will be used to further develop our market position in our other countries, and accelerate the transformation journey towards higher growth sectors that we started in 2016."

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