Successful Turnaround at Nova Scotia Mill Positions it for Future Growth
New York, NY, May 12, 2011 – Blue Wolf Capital Partners LLC (“Blue Wolf”) and Atlas Holdings LLC (“Atlas”) completed the sale of Northern Resources Nova Scotia Corporation (“Northern Resources”) to Paper Excellence Canada Holdings Corp of Vancouver, B.C., Canada, the firms announced today. Northern Resources is the parent company of Northern Pulp Nova Scotia, the Pictou County kraft pulp mill, and Northern Timber, which owns Nova Scotia forest land. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
Blue Wolf and Atlas acquired the company from Neenah Paper in 2008 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.
From 2008 to 2010, the mill’s annual production increased 13%, from 249,030 tonnes to 282,100 tonnes, while the company’s safety performance improved to the best performance in the mill’s 44 year history, with 258 consecutive days without a lost-time incident. During this time period, a $15 million investment in the mill, securing $28 million in federal Green Transformation funding, a $1 million investment in R&D, the acquisition 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.
“Our investment in Northern Resources exemplifies Blue Wolf’s investment strategy of creating value through responsible investing,” said Adam Blumenthal, Managing Partner of Blue Wolf. “Together with Atlas, management, employees, First Nations and local government and residents, we have restructured an underperforming business, improved environmental standards, and invested in R&D, which has resulted in improved stability and growth that benefits the community’s many stakeholders as well as our investors.”
“We’ve found everyone associated with the mill and community to be interested in and committed to building a strong and sustainable business,” said Tim Fazio, Managing Partner with Atlas Holdings. “We are pleased to transfer ownership to Paper Excellence Canada and believe their strategic focus and substantial technical and financial resources will ensure the long-term competitiveness of the mill.”
“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.”
About Blue Wolf Capital Partners
Blue Wolf Capital Partners LLC is a private equity firm that invests in companies in which effective management of relationships with complex constituencies, such as government and labor, can change organizations and create value. For additional information, please visit www.blue-wolf.com.