Secondary buy-out at Nopco

Nopco Paper Technology, a Norwegian chemicals specialist, has been bought by five of its directors in a secondary buy-out.

Nopco Paper Technology, a Norwegian chemicals specialist, has been bought by five of its directors in a secondary buy-out.

Nopco Paper Technology, a Norwegian chemicals specialist, has been bought by five of its directors in a secondary buy-out.

The buy-out team was backed by Glitnir Total Capital & Leveraged Finance, which provided equity and debt. The firm’s investment team comprised members of its Copenhagen, Reykjavík and London offices.

The company was sold for an undisclosed sum by majority shareholder Nordic Capital Fund III.

The buy-out was led by chief executive Stein Andersson, who said management will work with Glitnir to expand its speciality chemicals operations. “With the help of Glitnir’s strong position in the financial markets, we’ll be able to expand our business further by new acquisitions, launching new products and targeting new geographic markets.”

Glitnir’s investment was co-ordinated by Erlendur Magnússon, who said the firm heard at the end of January that Nopco’s management had initiated talks with Nordic Capital about a secondary buy-out. “Shortly thereafter we began our initial assessment of the sector and the company, calling on among others FIM’s paper and pulp analysts who were most helpful.

“The credit committee approved the investment proposal at the end of March and due diligence commenced at the beginning of April,” he added.

Glitnir’s Nikolaj Galskjøt joins Nopco’s board with Baldur Már Helgason becoming a board observer on its behalf. New non-executives will also be appointed to the board.

Galskjøt, an executive director of Glitnir Total Capital, added that the firm will work with the management to take the company to its next stage of development.

“In addition to existing strong relationships and product pipeline in the traditional pulp and paper industry, the company has recently developed interesting and innovative products, which we expect will further accelerate growth,” he added. “At Glitnir Total Capital we realise our success is primarily dependent on management. We are therefore very pleased to act as the catalyst for this management buy-out.”

Glitnir was introduced to the deal by Norwegian M&A International Inc. member Bridgehead, which then initiated the transaction and provided corporate finance advice throughout.

Bridgehead’s team was headed by project leader Odd Paulsen, who was assisted by Dan Petteroe.

The firm worked closely with Glitnir throughout the process providing financial and strategic advice as well as managing the negotiations. It also assisted in co-ordinating the due diligence and worked with Glitnir to finalise all legal documents.

Paulsen said he took the deal to Glitnir because he has worked with the firm on previous transactions.

“We knew that Nopco could provide for an interesting opportunity for the type of transactions they like to do and were certain that if the management team of Nopco would find our proposition interesting, we would have a good chance of success.

“We were able to outperform the other bidders by very speedy action, and by getting credit approvals and other provisions out of the way early in the process,” he added. “From first management presentation the deal was closed in approximately two months. This was only made possible through the impressive efforts of the Glitnir team and the other advisors involved.

“Commendments must also go to the management team of Nopco who worked amazingly hard throughout the process, in addition to running the everyday business of Nopco.”
Nopco is a developer and manufacturer of specialty chemicals for the pulp and paper manufacturing process. The group, which is headquartered in Drammen, Norway, has operations in the Nordic countries as well as Germany, France, Spain, the UK, Eastern Europe and Asia. It has production units in Norway, Finland and Spain.

Last year it reported a euro60 million (£40.5 million) turnover and currently has 120 employees worldwide.

Marc Barber

Raven Connelly

Marc was editor of GrowthBusiness from 2006 to 2010. He specialised in writing about entrepreneurs, private equity and venture capital, mid-market M&A, small caps and high-growth businesses.

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