Pulp and Paper Canada

AV Group celebrates Indian parent company’s diamond anniversary

August 27, 2021  By P&PC Staff

AV Group is celebrating its Indian parent company Grasim Industries Limited’s 75th anniversary. Grasim is part of the Aditya Birla Group, one of India’s largest business conglomerates.

Grasim acquired pulp mills in Atholville in 1997. In 2006, the company acquired the Ste-Anne and Nackawic mill. These mills were converted to dissolving pulp facilities. Dissolving pulp is derived from low-grade hardwood pulp. It is the primary material used to manufacture viscose staple fibre which is woven into fabric for the apparel industry.

When addressing the company’s New Brunswick employees, Birla chairman, Kumar Mangalam Birla noted, “As we commemorate this incredible landmark, my thoughts hark back to the heady days of Indian Independence. The days that defined the purpose of our company. In fact, our company was incorporated just 10 days after India’s Independence and is very much an integral part of the nation-building process. Grasim’s launch not only embodied the spirit of Indian entrepreneurship but also captured the dreams and aspirations of a young nation.”


The company was founded in 1947 by the current chairman’s great grandfather Ghanshyam Das Birla. GD Birla was considered a notable philanthropist and a close confidante of Mahatma Gandhi.

“New Brunswick’s India connection has been an understated success story,” says AV Group president and CEO Mike O’Blenis. “The acquisition and conversion of the Nackawic and Atholville mills secured over 1,500 jobs in those communities and has resulted in over $400 million in capital investment.

AV Group expects the province will continue to figure prominently into the Grasim supply chain due to the superior pulp quality and the recognition of New Brunswick’s sustainable forest management practices.

O’Blenis added, “Grasim supplies fabric to many high-end, internationally recognized brands that market their clothing as derived from sustainably sourced materials. It surprises people to know that the shirt on their back was once a tree from New Brunswick. It’s important that we continue to manage responsibly so that we can continue to supply responsibly for the next 75 years.”

A tree-planting ceremony has been planned at the Nackawic mill and Fredericton corporate office to celebrate this occasion.

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