Pulp and Paper Canada

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Catalyst adds two mills, begins a new chapter


January 13, 2015
By Pulp & Paper Canada

B.C.-based Catalyst Paper Corp. has added significant paper capacity and extended its operations across North America with the purchase on Jan. 7 of two U.S. mills from NewPage: the Biron paper mill located in Wisconsin and the Rumford pulp and…

B.C.-based Catalyst Paper Corp. has added significant paper capacity and extended its operations across North America with the purchase on Jan. 7 of two U.S. mills from NewPage: the Biron paper mill located in Wisconsin and the Rumford pulp and paper mill located in Maine.

“This acquisition represents a new chapter in the history of Catalyst Paper,” says Joe Nemeth, president and CEO. “With the addition of the Rumford and Biron mills, Catalyst becomes a larger and stronger company with five facilities across North America and an estimated production capacity of 2.1 million tons of paper and 500,000 tons of pulp. Catalyst is now the only producer in North America with manufacturing facilities in the West, Midwest and East, and has an enhanced product suite to effectively meet global customer needs.”

The acquisition was previously announced on October 30, 2014, but could not proceed until the Verso/NewPage merger was cleared by U.S. regulatory officials.

The cash payment made on closing was US$62.4 million. 

The addition of the paper mills is expected to increase Catalyst’s production capacity by approximately 65% or 995,000 tonnes per year. The Biron mill has 355,000 tonnes of capacity for lightweight coated and ultra-lightweight coated paper. The Rumford mill has 510,000 tonnes of paper capacity for coated specialty, coated freesheet and coated groundwood paper, and 130,000 tonnes of kraft market pulp capacity to produce both hardwood and softwood pulp. Catalyst operates three pulp and paper mills in British Columbia, producing mechanical printing papers, newsprint and pulp.

“With this transaction, Catalyst will be better able to serve new and existing customers through operational synergies and a more diversified and higher value suite of products,” said Nemeth, when announcing the transaction in October.

The company has appointed Greg Maule as senior vice-president, US operations and Linda McClinchy as vice-president, US supply chain.

Maule has held a progression of positions with increasing responsibility in paper operations leading to the role of mill manager at several large pulp and paper facilities in the Midwest. Most recently, he was vice-president, manufacturing operations at NewPage Corporation.

McClinchy, who will lead the customer supply chain for Catalyst’s US operations, most recently held the position of vice-president, customer service at NewPage Corporation. She brings more than 30 years of experience in customer service, planning and scheduling, and logistics to this new role.