Paper Company to Shut Down Mills
NewPage restructures following Stora Enso acquisition; 600 employees affected.
Coated magazine paper manufacturer NewPage Corporation announced today a restructuring plan to integrate the former Stora Enso North America facilities and services, which the company officially purchased earlier this month.
As part of the plan, NewPage in February will close a Stora Enso paper machine in Rumford, Maine, which produces coated freesheet and groundwood papers for magazines. About 60 employees will be affected by the shutdown. By April, the company also will close a pulp mill and two paper machines in Niagara, Wisconsin, affecting more than 300 employees. The machines annually produce 230,000 tons of lightweight coated groundwood that’s used in magazines.
NewPage also will close a paper machine in Kimberly, Wisconsin, and a converting facility in Chillicothe, Ohio. The Kimberly mill, which is set for closure by the end of May, produces coated freesheet papers. Nearly 200 employees will be affected by these closures.
According to NewPage chairman of the board and CEO Mark Suwyn, the SENA restructuring “will create the platform essential to become one company, remain competitive in the marketplace, serve our customer more efficiently and reach $265 million of synergies we have committed to achieve. Despite the permanent closures … we are merging the operations in a manner that will actually increase our 2008 North American production by three to eight percent compared to the combined production in 2007.”
NewPage says it will inform personnel of the company’s long term plans for each of its departments.
In other paper news, Verso Paper is finalizing the size and price range for the company’s proposed initial public offering of common stock. The offering price could reportedly reach $345 million, and 30 to 40 percent of the company could be sold.