OpenGate Capital Completes Sale of NorPaper Group to Gemayel Freres & Chaoui Industriel Group | Financial Buzz

OpenGate Capital Completes Sale of NorPaper Group to Gemayel Freres & Chaoui Industriel Group

OpenGate
Capital, a global private equity firm, announced today that it has
completed the sale of one of its legacy, pre-fund investments, NorPaper
Group (“NorPaper”), to Gemayel Freres & Chaoui Industriel Group, a
Lebanon-based business specialized in recycled corrugated cardboard and
packaging products. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

OpenGate Capital acquired NorPaper from Canadian paper conglomerate,
Cascades, in 2011. NorPaper is a leading producer of white top testliner
paper that is sold to European packaging manufacturers. Realizing an
opportunity to increase capacity within NorPaper, OpenGate completed an
accretive, add-on acquisition in February of 2015 of DS Smith Packaging
Papeterie de Nantes SAS (“Nantes”), a division of DS Smith, Plc (LON:
SMDS). Integrated into NorPaper, Nantes broadened the product portfolio
and added 50kT per year of production capacity through its white top
testliner paper made from 100% recycled fiber with best in class quality
and printability. The Nantes mill also addressed growing market demand
for paper products in a wider grammage and trim range. Combined,
NorPaper and Nantes have an annual capacity of 200kT, making it the
leading white top testliner paper producer in France and among the top
five in Europe.

Andrew Nikou, OpenGate’s Founder and CEO stated, “We are incredibly
proud of OpenGate’s investment in NorPaper from sourcing the acquisition
through our relationship with Cascades, to the add-on acquisition from
DS Smith. As we transfer the business to Gemayel & Chaoui Industriel
Group, we recognize that under the new leadership, NorPaper has many new
exciting years ahead. I want to thank the entire NorPaper team led by
CEO, Laurent Glachant, for their dedication and hard work in driving
this business forward.”

Julien Lagrèze, Partner at OpenGate’s Paris office, oversaw the entire
lifecycle of the NorPaper investment from acquisition through add-on
acquisition and realization. Lagrèze commented, “NorPaper is a
reflection of OpenGate’s lower middle market investment strategy and we
are proud of all that has been accomplished. From executing a complete
carve-out to implementing a multi-faceted operational improvement plan,
which included the development of a cooperative paper swap agreement
with several European corrugated cardboard manufacturers, NorPaper sales
and margins greatly improved since acquired by OpenGate in 2011.
Throughout our investment period, NorPaper grew its paper product
offerings that drove increased volumes and end-use applications. Given
all that has been accomplished, NorPaper is at the right point in its
evolution to be acquired by Gemayel & Chaoui Industriel Group so that it
can progress further under new leadership.”

NorPaper’s CEO, Mr. Laurent Glachant stated, “Working with the team at
OpenGate Capital has been a rewarding process over the past several
years. NorPaper has grown into a highly regarded business, recognized
for producing a variety of white top testliner and recycled paper
materials for our customers. I want to thank Julien Lagrèze and his team
at OpenGate for all of the support we received that enabled us to
achieve the growth and improvements at NorPaper. As we look ahead, we
are excited to enter into the next phase of our evolution with Mr.
Gemayel and his partners.”

This is the second legacy, pre-fund realization for OpenGate in the past
six months following the sale of Benvic, a European PVC compounding
business that was sold to Investindustrial in December of 2017.

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.

About NorPaper

NorPaper is one of the main European producers specialized in the
manufacture of white top testliner (a component of carton packaging).
Through two production facilities, NorPaper creates products out of 100%
recycled cellulosic fiber. The company was found in 1865 in the middle
of an historic region in the north of France, characterized by the paper
industry. NorPaper is located in the center of Europe and is
strategically situated close to road networks and ports. With its
favorable geographic location, NorPaper provides products and services
to the French, European and overseas markets. For more information,
please visit www.norpaper.com.

View source version on businesswire.com: https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20180621006408/en/