Pulp and Paper Canada

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Competing papermakers announce strategic alliance


May 13, 2015
By Pulp & Paper Canada

Mohawk and Arjowiggins Creative Papers have announced a partnership that is the first of its kind partnership in the fine paper industry. The two papermakers will share manufacturing facilities, expertise and proprietary technologies.

Mohawk and Arjowiggins Creative Papers have announced a partnership that is the first of its kind partnership in the fine paper industry. The two papermakers will share manufacturing facilities, expertise and proprietary technologies.

Mohawk is North America’s largest privately-owned manufacturer of fine papers, envelopes and specialty substrates for commercial and digital printing. Arjowiggins Creative Papers is a leading manufacturer of creative and technical papers with manufacturing facilities in Europe and Asia. Through this exclusive arrangement, Mohawk and Arjowiggins Creative Papers will share best-in-class manufacturing capabilities, facilities, technologies, as well as sales and marketing resources and expertise.

According to Thomas D. O’Connor, Jr., chairman and CEO at Mohawk: “Today’s business climate requires successful companies to exhibit flexibility, agility and adaptability to remain competitive and profitable.  There’s been a considerable amount of consolidation in the North American and European paper industries, but there’s never been a collaborative effort like this on an international level.”

O’Connor added that “Mohawk’s alliance with Arjowiggins Creative Papers is a groundbreaking move to grow our businesses through better utilization of our respective sales, operational, marketing and manufacturing assets, without requiring a lot of additional investment. Ultimately, this union creates the largest premium paper and luxury packaging manufacturing entity in the world.”

The alliance is said to be unprecedented in the paper industry, especially for two brands which previously acted as competitors. However, smaller scale cooperative agreements do exist in the pulp and paper industry. Last year, two competing pulp producers announced a cooperative agreement for international sales: Canfor Pulp Products and UPM-Kymmene. Canfor Pulp’s sales network was to represent and co-market UPM Pulp products in North America and Japan while UPM’s Pulp sales network was to represent and co-market Canfor Pulp products in Europe and China.

Arjowiggins and Mohawk are like-minded fine paper manufacturers with well-known brands that have driven the premium paper segment for more than a century.

Under the terms of the agreement, Mohawk will have exclusive rights to manufacture Arjowiggins Creative Papers’ luxury packaging products, Delos and Butterfly, as well as rights to license, market and distribute these and other select Arjowiggins Creative Papers luxury packaging products to design, packaging and print professionals in North America. 

Likewise, Arjowiggins Creative Papers will have exclusive rights to manufacture Mohawk Superfine with iTone®, as well as rights to license, market and distribute the product through selected merchants.

Arjowiggins Creative Papers will share unique capabilities and paper manufacturing equipment with Mohawk, including a twin wire machine capable of sophisticated processes resulting in ultra-heavy weight papers with variable finishes. Mohawk will provide manufacturing expertise and will grant Arjowiggins Creative Papers exclusive rights to manufacture the legendary Superfine grade and proprietary i-Tone® surface treatment.

For Jonathan Mitchell, managing director at Arjowiggins Creative Papers, “This unprecedented ‘transatlantic’ alliance is a real exchange of expertise in fine papermaking between two well established paper manufacturers. Mohawk’s i-Tone is arguably the world’s best technology for digital presses so we are delighted to be able to offer this technology in our product portfolio.”