Polestar Secures Funding For Euro 120 Million Investment Program, Supported By Investcorp
Press release from the issuing company
August 2, 2004 -- Polestar Group Limited announced today that it had successfully raised new funding to complete its current investment programme, known as "Project True North", and had restructured its debt obligations. The new funding represents a further commitment of £74 million from the Group's majority shareholder, Investcorp. These transactions have reduced the Group's indebtedness and provide the Group with a substantially strengthened balance sheet and enhanced financial flexibility. These transactions received unanimous support from the Group's bank syndicate.
The True North projects include over £120 million of investment in new 3.88m wide Cerutti presses, bindery and poly-bagging equipment at a state-of-the-art greenfield gravure facility currently under development in Sheffield, and at other existing Group facilities. The investments are already underway, and the new facility in Sheffield will be operational by May 2005. This substantial investment in the latest technology equipment, at both existing sites and the greenfield site, will allow for significant improvements in work flows for the benefit of all the Group's customers.
Describing these investments in the business, Polestar's CEO, Barry Hibbert, said: "These investments further strengthen Polestar's position as the UK market leader, enhancing the Group's cost base and providing printing, binding and poly-bagging capabilities that are unmatched in the local market or by those Continental printers currently serving the UK gravure market.
"Together with the Group's existing gravure and web offset network, these new investments allow Polestar to continue to offer its customers unmatched manufacturing flexibility, product quality and service levels".
Describing the transactions most recently concluded, Polestar's CFO, Peter Johnston, said: "The continued support of Investcorp and our bank syndicate has provided the Group with significantly enhanced financial flexibility and as a result the Group's balance sheet has been considerably strengthened. Our stronger financial standing will allow us to further invest in new presses to support the growth plans of our key customers. The demonstration of continued support from the Group's financial stakeholders gives security to the Group's customers, suppliers and employees."
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