Paper Excellence has extended its network of mills in Canada to the East Coast with the purchase of Northern Pulp Nova Scotia. Specifically, Paper Excellence Canada Holdings Corp of Vancouver, B.C. has reached an agreement to acquire Northern Resources, the parent company of Northern Pulp Nova Scotia and Northern Timber, Abercrombie Point, Nova Scotia.
"The agreement is good news for the company's 230 employees, 400 timberlands contract employees, suppliers and community and business partners as it strengthens the mill's economic position over the long-term," says Wayne Gosse, president and chief financial officer, Northern Resources. "A strong demand for the mill's product globally presents a great opportunity for the mill to be part of a large international network of pulp mills and to diversify and expand its markets."
Northern Pulp produces 275,000 tonnes per year of northern bleached softwood kraft pulp.
Gosse says Paper Excellence Group has a good track record in Canada in terms of business leadership, labour and First Nations partnerships, and environmental stewardship. Paper Excellence operates three mills in Canada: Meadow Lake in Saskatchewan and Howe Sound and Mackenzie in British Columbia, and is in the process of acquiring the long-closed Prince Albert mill in Saskatchewan. The company currently employs more than 800 Canadians.
"We have been impressed by Northern Pulp's operations, employees, and the quality of stakeholder relationships and partnerships," says Ed Roste, vice-president operations, Paper Excellence Canada. "We welcome Northern Resources into the Paper Excellence family. The Northern Resources team will continue to operate the mill and land holdings under the Northern Pulp name, and there are no job impacts as a result of the transaction.
"We're committed to continuing to build productive relationships with labour, First Nations, NGOs, and community partners to achieve balance of social, environmental and economic priorities in industry and forest management," he continued.
Northern Pulp was sold by Neenah Paper three years ago amidst uncertainty about the mill's future as a result of very difficult business conditions in the forestry sector worldwide. Since then, Northern Pulp's workforce has improved efficiency and productivity and local management has worked closely with stakeholders to stabilize the business. A $1-million investment in R&D, the acquisition of 422,000 acres of forest land for active management, and a commitment to work with Pictou Landing First Nation on economic development have been instrumental in the mill's resurgence.
In January, Natural Resources Canada through the Green Transformation Program announced investments of $28 million in three clean-tech programs to benefit Northern Pulp mill operations and the surrounding community.