In March 2006, the fund Accent Equity 2003, together with management, acquired Grycksbo Paper from the listed group Stora Enso.
Grycksbo is a non-integrated producer of matt wood free coated (WFC) fine paper, a niche segment within fine paper in which Grycksbo is among the European market leaders. Grycksbo’s paper is mainly suited for printing both text and images, like folders, maps, posters, catalogues and books. Sales promotions and direct mail are the most common application areas. Products are sold under the brand name G-Print and delivered either as sheets or as reels. The main distribution channels are merchants and agents, but also direct deliveries to printers/end-users. The Grycksbo mill dates back to the year 1740.
At the time of the Accent fund’s investment, Grycksbo had a turnover of close to SEK 1.7 billion.
As the new majority owner, the Accent fund implemented a number of value enhancing measurers:
- Recruited new CEO and sales director
- Established a new sales organisation, replacing Stora Enso’s in-house sales organisation. More than 20% of total sold volume was relocated from Asia to Europe, resulting in increased profitability through changed market mix
- Executed an extensive profit improvement programme
- Invested in pulp sourcing flexibility
- Implemented a long-term cost-effective and environmentally friendly energy solution
- Improved control and planning thanks to a changed logistics setup, leading to reduced transport costs with more than 25%, and a new IT-system
During the Accent fund’s ownership period, the company increased its turnover to more than SEK 1.9 billion as well as more than quadrupled its EBITDA.
In December 2009, the Accent fund divested Grycksbo to the listed Polish-Swedish group Artic Paper. The transaction was finalised in March 2010. Apart from a cash consideration received on closing, the Accent fund received shares in Arctic Paper, as well as issued vendor loans. As a relatively small player on the global paper market stand-alone, Grycksbo will benefit from being a part of a larger group, and fits well into Arctic Paper’s portfolio.