Ahlstrom to spin off label unit, raise 150 mln euros

HELSINKI Tue Aug 28, 2012 4:42am EDT

HELSINKI Aug 28 (Reuters) - Finnish paper firm Ahlstrom plans to spin off its label and processing business unit in a deal that will help it raise 150 million euros ($188 million) in cash, and concentrate on more profitable businesses such as food packaging.

The unit will be combined with privately-held Swedish firm Munksjo, whose biggest owner is investment fund EQT, and the new company will be listed on the Helsinki bourse in the first quarter of 2013 after a directed share issue or placing worth around 100 million euros ($125.2 million), the companies said on Tuesday.

Ahlstrom said it plans to invest 62.5 million euros through the share issue, in which EQT as well as institutional investors like Finnish pension funds Varma and Ilmarinen are expected to participate.

EQT is 31 percent owned by Swedish investment group Investor AB. ($1 = 0.7990 euros) (Reporting by Terhi Kinnunen and Ritsuko Ando; Editing by David Holmes)