1 Feb 2023 09:21

Sibur divests 50% stake in Italian BOPP producer Manucor

MOSCOW. Feb 1 (Interfax) - Russian petrochemical group Sibur has divested its 50% stake in Italy's Manucor S.p.A., one of Europe's largest manufacturers of biaxially oriented polypropylene (BOPP) films.

A "complex operation was completed on 16 January 2023 and, as a result, Biaxplen LLC, a company in the Russian Sibur Group, exited Manucor's shareholding structure," the Italian company said in a press release.

Now L&M S.p.A., a company specifically established by Manucor CEO Luigi Scagliotti and chairman Matteo Rossini, became the owner of a 5% stake, while the other shareholder, Loren SPV S.r.l, increased its interest to 95%. The transaction was financed by Cherry Bank S.p.A., the company said.

Sibur, which acquired 50% of Manucor in 2019, did not comment on the details of the transaction.

Established by the Manuli family in 1987 as Manuli Film, Manucor went through several changes of ownership until it was bought by Pillarstone in 2018 as part of a debt restructuring and recapitalisation. In 2019, Pillarstone sold a 50% stake to Biaxplen and the remaining 50% was subscribed by Loren SPV, a securitisation company whose noteholders - economic beneficiaries of Loren's credit and equity portfolio - are leading Italian banking and financial institutions.

In 2022, the geopolitical tensions linked to the conflict in Ukraine "made it necessary to reduce Biaxplen's shareholding to below 50% until the full disinvestment of the Russian shareholder with the operation concluded on 16 January 2023," Manucor said.

"The change in shareholding structure will enable Manucor to operate more efficiently with suppliers and customers and take advantage of possible synergies with other operators and investors," the company said.

Manucor expects to close 2022 with revenue 225.7 million euros, EBITDA of 13 million euros and a profit of 5.7 million euros, though energy costs increased by 157% compared to the previous year.

Manucor has one plant in Italy with capacity to produce 100,000 tonnes per year, and exports its products to 35 countries.

Biaxplen is Russia's largest BOPP producer and one of the leaders on the international market for these films.