Companies

International Paper completes sale of India-based printing paper business; shares down over 9%

V Rishi Kumar Hyderabad | Updated on October 31, 2019 Published on October 31, 2019

The New York Stock Exchange-listed International Paper, the US-based paper major, has completed the sale of its controlling interest in International Paper APPM Limited, an India-based printing paper business, to West Coast Paper Mills Limited for about $85 million.

The news of sale had impacted the company's scrip performance on Wednesday taking a hit of 9.39 per cent, down ₹32.75 to close at ₹315.90.

International Paper intends to pursue suitable alternatives to divest its remaining 20 per cent ownership interest (7,954,008 shares) in APPM. Following a recent buyout, it divested about 55 per cent stake. And earlier it had divested about 17 per cent stake in the paper company located in Andhra Pradesh.

International Paper is a leading global producer of renewable fibre-based packaging, pulp and paper products with manufacturing operations in North America, Latin America, Europe, North Africa and Russia.

Headquartered in Memphis, Tennessee, the company with net sales in 2018 of $23 billion had acquired Andhra Pradesh Paper Mills Limited from the LN Bangur family in October 2011 for about ₹1,900 crore. After managing it for about eight years, strengthening its operations, it has divested it's stake to West Coast Paper Mills Limited.

International Paper had entered into a share purchase agreement with West Coast paper Mills Limited in May 2019 for a stake sale. Following an open offer, West Coast Paper Mills Limited had acquired 17.02 per cent stake in the company from the public shareholders.

And a couple of days ago, about 55 per cent of the total paid-up equity was further divested by International Paper.

International Finance Company was among those who had invested in the APPM and held a stake of up to nearly 10 per cent in 2004-05.

During 2018-19, the company recorded a sales volume of 238,729 lakh tonnes, up 3.4 per cent over the previous year with 16 per cent revenue from exports. Last fiscal, the company had achieved a profit of ₹200 crore and a turnover of ₹1,441.92 crore as against a profit of ₹83 crore and a turnover of ₹1,285 crore a year before.

Management change

Following this development, WCPM has acquired control of the company.  While the Board headed by W Michael Amick Jr., of IP APPM resigned, SK Bangur, as CMD, Rajendra Jain, Anish T Mathew, Sudershan Somani and Arun Kumar Surekha, have been appointed as Directors.
Saurabh Bangur will take over as the company CEO.

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Published on October 31, 2019
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