Verso to sell its specialty paper business to Pixelle


US paper manufactuerer Verso has repeatedly announced its intention to reduce output of graphic paper in favour of more promising products in the packaging segment. Now, the company will sell two paper mills. Pixelle Specialty Solutions is growing and becoming a big player in the market for specialty papers. The company that was formed only last year for the acquisition of two Glatfelter mills has signed a definitive agreement with the Verso Corporation for the acquisition of Verso’s Androscoggin and Stevens Point mills in the USA.

Verso put the transaction price at 400 million dollars.  The transaction is still subject to approval from the company’s stockholders and is expected to be completed in the first quarter of 2020.

The Stevens Point mill in Wisconsin has an annual production capacity of 191,000 tpy and produces various specialty papers, including flexible packaging paper for example for food pouches, label paper and technical paper such as paper for receipts.

The Androscoggin mill is located in Jay, Maine and can make up to 386,000 tpy (425,000 sh.t) of specialty papers for labels, flexible packaging and technical paper applications as well as kraftliner.

Verso commenced lightweight unbleached kraftliner production at Androscoggin only last year, rebuilding a former fine paper machine to kraftliner production. The company was also planning to increase release liner capacity at the site’s PM 4 by the end of this year.