Sequana to refinance debt amid operational restructure to reduce Arjowiggins' exposure to coated paper market; debt restructure includes converting US$173M of debt to bonds and then Sequana shares, writing off US$227M of debt, and US$88M rights issue

, June 10, 2014 () – Sequana, owner of the Antalis paper merchanting group and Arjowiggins paper mills, has announced details of a refinance of both companies' debt alongside an operational restructure at Arjowiggins.

The group-wide debt restructure includes the conversion of $173m of Arjowiggins' debt into bonds that will be converted into shares totaling 30% of Sequana's issued share capital on a diluted basis in December 2020, as well as the write-off of $227m of combined Arjowiggins and Sequana debt.

Sequana has also announced a $88m rights issue ($66m of which will be taken by major shareholders Bpifrance, Exor SA and the Allianz group), the entire net proceeds of which will go to Arjowiggins.

The operational restructure is intended to significantly reduce Arjowiggins' exposure to the standard coated paper segment, while strengthening its position in the recycled paper and creative papers segments. In the firm's Graphics division, this would result in the sale or closure of the Wizernes mill in France with production consolidated at Bessé-en-Braye and Le Bourray, as well as a definitive exit from the US market via the sale of the US Coated division.

In recycled paper, the group plans to set up a new deinked pulp unit at Bessé-en-Braye by mid-2016, while in the Creative Papers division Arjowiggins plans to concentrate "the bulk of its production" at the Stoneywood mill in Aberdeen.

Arjowiggins said it would shortly begin a search for a buyer for the Charavines mill, which is dedicated to the production of premium fine papers and security documents and has a total capacity of 20,000 tonnes/year.

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