Old Town Pulp and paper has been purchased and will be reopening soon, providing up to 180 jobs. That's according to the spokesperson from Expera Specialty Solutions, the Wisconsin company who acquired it. Some 200 employees were laid off in August when the mill closed. The owners blamed the high cost of wood and energy and foreign competition for the decision. The following is a copy of the press release issued today by Expera.
EXPERA SPECIALTY SOLUTIONS, LLC ANNOUNCES
AGREEMENT TO ACQUIRE OLD TOWN FUEL & FIBER
Kaukauna, WI: November 11, 2014: Expera Specialty Solutions, LLC (“Expera”), a portfolio company of KPS Capital
Partners, LP, announced today that it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire certain assets related to the Old
Town Fuel & Fiber pulp mill (“Old Town” or the “Business”) from its senior secured lender. Expera expects to complete
the transaction as part of a sale process under Section 363 of the United States Bankruptcy Code. Financial terms of the
transaction were not disclosed.
Old Town is a high-quality pulp mill with the capacity to produce more than 200,000 tons annually of Northern Bleached
Kraft pulp. The Business was founded more than a century ago and is located in Old Town, ME. The Business closed
this past August, which left the mill shut down indefinitely. Expera intends to invest significant additional capital and
resources into Old Town to ensure the highest level of production quality and capacity.
Russ Wanke, Chief Executive Officer of Expera, stated, “A combination of Expera and Old Town will significantly
strengthen both businesses. In particular, the combination will increase Expera’s vertical integration into pulp and reduce
Old Town’s go-forward commercial risk by becoming part of Expera, a financially strong enterprise, that serves stable and
growing end markets and possesses a dedicated base of long-term customers rather than as a standalone enterprise.”
Governor Paul R. LePage of Maine stated, “I am honored to welcome Expera to Maine. We appreciate their investment
and determination to get this facility back up and running as quickly as possible. The Old Town facility combines a
valuable asset with tremendously knowledgeable and hardworking Mainers who are eager to get back to work. My
administration will continue working with Expera as they move forward. This is terrific news for the future of Maine’s forest
US Senator Susan Collins of Maine commented, "This is encouraging news for Maine's forest products industry and for
the workers in the Old Town area who lost their jobs earlier this year. While there is much work to be done before this
sale is finalized and people are brought back to work, I applaud the efforts of Expera Specialty Solutions and all those
involved in this effort.”
US Senator Angus King of Maine additionally expressed, "This is great news for the Old Town area and the State of
Maine. Expera will find a great workforce with deep experience at this mill who I'm sure will be happy to get back to work
doing what they have done so well over the years."
Completion of the transactions is expected to occur during the fourth quarter of 2014, subject to customary closing
Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton and Garrison LLP and Pierce Atwood LLP served as legal counsel to Expera and KPS.
Expera is a leading North American manufacturer of specialty paper products for use in the pressure-sensitive release liner, industrial
and food packaging segments. Headquartered in Wisconsin, Expera employs approximately 1,800 people across four manufacturing
facilities located in Rhinelander, WI, Mosinee, WI, Kaukauna, WI, and De Pere, WI. Additional information regarding Expera, its
manufacturing facilities and its product offerings can be found at www.experaspecialty.com.
About KPS Capital Partners, LP
KPS is the manager of the KPS Special Situations Funds, a family of investment funds with more than $5.7 billion of assets under
management. KPS seeks to realize significant capital appreciation by making controlling equity investments in companies across a
diverse range of manufacturing industries experiencing a period of transition or challenged by the need to effect immediate and
significant change. The KPS investment strategy is based primarily upon partnering with world-class management teams to effect
material and sustainable improvements in the operations of its businesses. Thereafter, KPS focuses on growing its businesses, both
organically and through strategic acquisitions. KPS portfolio companies have aggregate annual revenues of approximately $6.2 billion,
operate 102 manufacturing facilities in 26 countries, and employ more than 46,000 associates, directly and through joint ventures