Paper Excellence

April 16, 2010 13:52 ET

Paper Excellence Acquires Mackenzie Pulp Mill

Production likely to resume in fall 2010, safeguarding over 200 jobs

MACKENZIE, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwire - April 16, 2010) - The Mackenzie pulp mill in British Columbia has been acquired by Paper Excellence B.V., for an undisclosed sum. The transaction secures the future of the mill which is expected to resume production of high quality NBSK pulp in the fall. The Mackenzie mill employs over 240 workers and will generate significant additional economic activity and jobs within the region.

Paper Excellence B.V. is a Netherland-based company associated with one of the world's largest pulp and paper producers of Asia Pulp and Paper brands.

This Mackenzie mill is the Paper Excellence Group's second acquisition in Canada. It currently owns and operates a pulp mill in Meadow Lake, Saskatchewan.

"We are very pleased to have a company like Paper Excellence establish itself in British Columbia," says Pat Bell, Minister of Forests and Range. "It already has experience in Canada with its mill in Meadow Lake and the company has maintained a high level of safe profitable production and regulatory compliance."

It took a concerted effort by a number of organizations and groups to get the mill to the point where it could resume production. Team Mackenzie of the Mackenzie Pulp Mill Development Corporation preserved the capacity of the mill to resume production. The Provincial Government worked with the District of Mackenzie to consolidate and reduce the debt of the mill.

"I want to credit the hard working public servants in the Rural BC Secretariat for the instrumental role they played in crafting a deal that will ensure hundreds of people in Mackenzie can head back to work," said B.C. Community and Rural Development Minister Bill Bennett. "It is personally gratifying to be able to help the District of Mackenzie at a time when the people of Mackenzie really need it."

The McLeod Lake Indian Band worked with the Ministry of Forests and Range to help secure the fibre needed to start the mill.

"We are very pleased that we have been able to work with the government and the community and be part of the effort to bring the mill back into production," says Chief Derek Orr of the McLeod Lake Indian Band. "By working together we can provide benefits for the entire region."

Also important was the negotiation of a new collective agreement with the Communications, Energy and Paperworkers Union (CEP). The agreement preserves wages, benefits and pensions, while enabling the mill to reopen with significant cost reductions.

"This is very good news for our members and for the community of Mackenzie," says CEP Western Region Vice President Jim Britton. "We are extremely happy to see our members return to well paying jobs within the forest industry and that it looks like they have a future in this industry."

Fact sheets and digital photographs available on request

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