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AURELIUS sells Solidus Solutions for EUR330m

AURELIUS Equity Opportunities has agreed to sell its subsidiary Solidus Solutions (Solidus) to funds advised by Centerbridge Partners for an enterprise value of approximately EUR330 million. 

Solidus is the leading European producer of sustainable fibre-based packaging solutions for food, beverage & horticulture, consumer goods and industrial applications. The deal represents AURELIUS’ largest exit to date achieving a money multiple of approximately 16x over the four years of ownership. The transaction is subject to the approval of the competent antitrust authorities and consultation with the central works council of Solidus Solutions in the Netherlands which is expected to happen in Q3 2019. Its exit from Solidus will increase AURELIUS’ 2019 earnings by approximately EUR102 million.
The investor of choice for non-core assets 

AURELIUS acquired Solidus in 2015 as a carve out from listed Smurfit Kappa Group, which was looking to divest of its solidboard and graphicboard production mills, converters and sales offices across the Netherlands, Belgium and the UK. Whilst modestly profitable, the company was no longer core to Smurfit Kappa Group’s strategy. Solidus required immediate focus and investment to put the business onto a standalone basis and improve its performance.

With significant experience in the complex process of carving-out non-core divisions from multinational organisations, AURELIUS was the investor of choice. We were able to conduct the transaction quickly, taking over the business from its previous owner, rebranding it as Solidus Solutions and establishing the company as a standalone platform. 

Dr Dirk Markus, Group-CEO and Chairman of the Executive Board of AURELIUS, says: “This sale is the largest and most successful exit for AURELIUS to date, reflecting the significant effort placed into the business over the last four years. I would like to congratulate Solidus’ management under the superb leadership of Richard Houben and the members of the AURELIUS task force that we placed into the business, all of whom did an outstanding job.

“Since our acquisition of Solidus, the AURELIUS task force team has provided hands on operational and M&A support to the company, transforming it from an unloved orphan business into an independent, pan-European operation and true market leader in its field, with significant growth potential. The success of this investment demonstrates the strength of AURELIUS’ niche expertise and capabilities in carving out peripheral, non-core assets from corporations and transforming them into successful and sustainable standalone businesses. With our portfolio maturing, we do expect further exits for the upcoming months.” 

AURELIUS was advised by Rothschild & Co (M&A), Deloitte (Transaction Services), Jones Day (Legal), Ernst & Young (Tax) and Ramboll (Environmental). 

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