OpenGate’s Seventh Realization Yields Significant Return on Investment After Four and a Half Years of Ownership

March 24, 2015

LOS ANGELES, CA – March 24, 2015 – OpenGate Capital, a global private equity firm, announced today it has completed the sale of Kotkamills Oy, to MB Funds, an independent Finnish private equity firm focused on acquisitions in the Nordic market.  Kotkamills, located in Kotka, Finland, is a manufacturer of specialty papers and wood-based products. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Acquired from Stora Enso in July of 2010, Kotkamills represents one of the most complex carve-out and transitions for OpenGate Capital to date. At acquisition, OpenGate launched its operations plan to consolidate Kotkamills’ five legal entities into a single business and establish entirely new IT, HR, treasury, finance, procurement, sales and logistics processes, separate from its parent company, Stora Enso.

Under the guidance of OpenGate Capital, the three Kotkamills business units also underwent three key operational improvements including:

  • Repositioned a branded paper product, Solaris, from that of a commodity paper, to a specialty niche product with specific applications for publishers of magazines
  • Converted the laminating paper business from a co-leader, into the world’s leader in laminating paper products through innovative research and development processes that yielded the world’s first eco-grade laminating paper product made from recycled fiber
  • Leveraged the output from a saw mill to increase sales of sawn timber product

Julien Lagrèze, Partner at OpenGate Capital commented, “We saw tremendous potential to create value through the transition and operation of Kotkamills. At entry, the business was underperforming, trading slightly negative EBITDA, when just three years prior, had been producing double digit EBITDA. Through establishing a transition and operations plan prior to acquisition, identifying the right executive talent to lead the business, and by developing new and innovative products, Koktamills is once achieving double digit performance figures.”

Kotkamills’ heritage dates back to 1872 and is recognized for its excellence in production, customer service, research, product development and sustainability efforts, and is known for products such as the Absorbex, Imprex and Solaris brands. The business has operations in Finland and Malaysia and employs more than 500 people.


About OpenGate Capital

OpenGate Capital is a global private equity firm specializing in the acquisition and operation of businesses to create new value through operational improvements, innovation and growth. Established in 2005, OpenGate Capital is headquartered in Los Angeles, California with a European office in Paris, France. OpenGate’s professionals possess the critical skills needed to acquire, transition, operate, build and scale successful businesses. To date, OpenGate Capital, through its legacy and fund investments, has executed more than 30 acquisitions including corporate carve-outs, management buy-outs, special situations and transactions with private sellers across North America and Europe. To learn more about OpenGate, please visit www.opengatecapital.com.

For more information, please contact:


OpenGate Media Contacts

Alanna Chaffin

Email: achaffin@opengatecapital.com

Telephone: +1 (310) 432-7000

 

Mike Sitrick

Sitrick & Company

Email: Mike_Sitrick@sitrick.com

Telephone: (310) 788-2850


OpenGate Business Development Contact

Joshua Adams

Email: jadams@opengatecapital.com

Telephone: +1 (310) 432-7000