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Ahlstrom to buy Friend Group
Feb '08
Ahlstrom, a global leader in high performance fiber-based materials, announced that it has signed an agreement to acquire Friend Group Inc, which consists of West Carrollton Parchment Company and West Carrollton Converting Company.

The Group is a producer of vegetable parchment and has parchmentizing and converting operations located in West Carrollton, Ohio, the USA. The transaction is expected to be closed during the first quarter of 2008.

The parties have agreed not to disclose the acquisition price. Friend Group employs 162 people and has two sites in West Carrollton serving mainly the food packaging market in the USA. Net sales of the acquired entity in 2007 were USD 47 million.

The new entity will be integrated into Ahlstrom's vegetable parchment product line, which is part of the Technical Papers business area currently operating two sites manufacturing vegetable parchment in France and serving customers globally.

This acquisition enables Ahlstrom to build a global platform for its vegetable parchment business, develop new applications for the product as well as improve its customer service worldwide.

Ahlstrom's CEO Jukka Moisio comments on the deal:
"With the acquisition Ahlstrom becomes the leading global supplier of vegetable parchment and the acquisition strengthens our North America position by combining Ahlstrom's technical know-how with West Carrollton's strong customer relations and excellent converting capabilities."

Vegetable parchment is a specialty paper made from cellulose fibers and it has numerous applications in packaging, food, textile, furniture, graphic and other industries.

Vegetable parchment has unique properties such as excellent greaseproof and strength characteristics and high water and heat resistance. The global market demand for vegetable parchment is growing in various new applications.

Ahlstrom Corporation

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