Minter Ellison is acting as lead counsel to Swedish group Svenska Cellulosa Aktiebolaget SCA on its A$890 million acquisition of the ’tissues’ division of New Zealand forestry and wood products group Carter Holt Harvey.
The acquisition brings under SCA’s global umbrella operations in Australia, New Zealand and Fiji — which make market-leading brands such as Sorbent, Purex and Handee — and includes a 50% interest in Sancella, a company owned jointly by SCA and Carter Holt Harvey that manufactures the market leading Libra and Tena feminine hygiene and adult incontinence brands.
SCA is Europe’s largest tissue and absorbent paper manufacturer. While Western Europe and North America are its main focus, it is now targeting fast growing markets for hygiene products. In addition to the acquisition of Carter Holt Harvey’s tissue business, it has recently acquired Drypers, a leading Asian-based baby diaper business.
The legal team advising SCA comprises key partners from Minter Ellison in Australia (Jeremy Blackshaw, Tim Watkin and Carolyn Reynolds) and Minter Ellison Rudd Watts in New Zealand (Cathy Quinn, Harriet Blackburn and Julianne Sanders). Deutsche Bank is SCA’s financial adviser.
The acquisition is conditional on normal regulatory consents from the Overseas Investment Commission (OIC) and Foreign Investment Review Board (FIRB), with the sale completion date expected to be effective mid May.
Other bidders are understood to have included JP Morgan’s private equity arm and a spin-off IPO.