Houlihan Lokey Advises Fabbrica Italiana Lapis ed Affini S.p.A.

Houlihan Lokey is pleased to announce that Fabbrica Italiana Lapis ed Affini S.p.A. (F.I.L.A.), through its wholly owned subsidiary F.I.L.A. Arches S.A.S., has acquired the fine art business unit currently operated by the Ahlstrom-Munksjö Group under the ARCHES® brand. The total purchase price, on a debt-free, cash-free basis, was €43.6 million. The transaction closed on 2 March 2020.

Established in 1492 and based in France, ARCHES® is a leading player in the fine art paper industry, offering premium papers used by artists—Van Gogh, Matisse, Chagall, Picasso, Braque, Miro, Dali, Warhol, and Alechinsky, among others—as well as major art publishers. Mainly made with cotton, these papers are produced with a cylinder mould production technique. ARCHES® has been a business unit of Ahlstrom-Munksjö Group since 2011 and currently employs approximately 60 people.

In April 2019, F.I.L.A. entered into an exclusivity agreement with the Ahlstrom-Munksjö Group for the worldwide distribution of all ARCHES® brand products, effective as of January 2020. With this acquisition, F.I.L.A. will secure the margin arising from the distribution and add the margin generated by ARCHES®. Also in 2019, the pro forma EBITDA relating only to such production and excluding any margin arising from the distribution was estimated to be approximately €4 million. Given its widespread geographic presence, F.I.L.A. is expecting to significantly increase the total marginality of the acquired business.

Houlihan Lokey served as the sole financial advisor to F.I.L.A.

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