Accrol Group “LTC acquisition represents a transformational transaction” says Zeus Capital

Accrol Group Holdings

We believe Accrol Group Holdings plc (LON:ACRL) acquisition of LTC represents a transformational transaction which the potential to consolidate the Group’s leading position in the private label tissue market to c.30% share. On completion of the deal, the Group’s combined customer base will be stronger and broader with a step change in capacity to further accelerate its already impressive growth which continues to outpace the market. We estimate the acquisition to be 14.2% EPS enhancing in FY22E the first full year of ownership. The core Accrol business continues to trade solidly, driving an additional upgrade to our underlying numbers today. We believe Accrol’s established platform can deliver an market capitalisation of £400m+ over the medium term.

  • Acquisition overview: Accrol announced the acquisition of Leicester Tissue Company (LTC) on 2nd November, supplemented by a primary placing to raise £38.5m and an open offer raising £4.1m. The enlarged group will have c.£220m of combined revenue capacity, encompassing 12 tissue and 2 facial converting lines and c390 employees.
  • Key benefits: LTC is an established and well invested tissue converter with an impressive financial track record (70% revenue CAGR 2017-19), which we believe speaks for itself. LTC brings four high quality tissue conversion lines all under six years old to the Group, taking combined revenue capacity to c.£220m and enabling Accrol to defer £5.0m of capex spend from FY21 into FY22. The acquisition of LTC takes the Group’s private label market share from c26% pre acquisition to c30% post acquisition. We believe Accrol has paid less than 5x LTC’s FY22E EBITDA (post £1.0m anticipated synergies), which represents an attractive price for a strategically important transaction.
  • Forecasts: Our revised forecasts include an upgrade to the underlying Accrol business which has traded solidly in recent months. The acquisition should be c.14.2% EPS enhancing to our FY22E EPS forecast in the first full year of ownership on what we believe are conservative assumptions. This equates to less than 5x LTC’s 12m forward EBITDA which represents an attractive price for a strategically important transaction in our view. Cost synergies of £1.0m have been identified, which we believe is conservative, with no revenue synergies currently assumed throughout our forecast period.
  • Investment view:In our view Accrol Group deserves to trade at least in line, if not at a premium to its peers given its solid growth momentum. A rerating of the shares to 16x-18x FY22E PE over the next 12 months implies a share price of 69-78p. Ultimately we believe Accrol should emerge as a £35m-£40m EBITDA business (£22.5m-£30.0m previously assumed) with minimal debt and above average growth in the ever-expanding discount sector, which we believe could equate to an equity value of c.£400m (c.122p per share) over the medium term.
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