Case study AustroCel Hallein

The company

AustroCel Hallein produces high-quality softwood dissolving wood pulp (DWP), a key raw material used in the manufacture of viscose staple fiber, in turn the basis of viscose textiles.

Why we invested

  • The largest of two independent producers of softwood DWP in the world
  • Well positioned to address growing global market for more sustainable textiles
  • Ability to leverage biomass input to generate green energy
  • Potential to increase production of specialty-grade products
Year of investment


Sales (LTM to December 31, 2018)




Sector - Industrials

Building a better business

AustroCel Hallein sources the large majority of its wood from sustainably managed spruce forests in Austria and Germany. The business generates virtually no CO2 emissions, is chlorine-free, and is fully compliant with standards for both air and water emissions. AustroCel has received the EMAS (Eco Management and Audit Scheme) mark, certifying it as a sustainable company.

Leveraging its biomass input, AustroCel has become one of the largest green energy producers in Austria, producing renewable energy for its own needs and selling the surplus to the local grid. In 2017 the company’s achievement in implementing this project was recognized with the award of the Austrian National Energy Globe.

During diligence, TowerBrook was able to gain an in-depth understanding of AustroCel’s business, its customers and the dynamics of its market, identifying opportunities for further growth and outlining a management and governance structure that would allow the business to access them.

Following acquisition, TowerBrook appointed a new Chair, established Board committees with responsibility for risk and sustainability, and supported the introduction of firm-wide compliance training.

AustroCel’s focus now is on expanding production capacity, developing more specialty-grade products for a diversified customer base, and evaluating the construction of a bio-ethanol plant on site to maximize the revenue-generating potential of the renewable energy generated by the business.

AustroCel Hallein takes its responsibility towards the environment and the livelihoods of current and future generations very seriously.

Around 90% of the wood used for pulp production by AustroCel Hallein is certified to PEFC standards. Wood chips are stored for an average of 5 weeks before being broken down under high pressure and temperature in seven 225m³ digesters that ensure continuous processing of around 900,000m³ of spruce wood each year.