Kaukauna, Wisconsin, USA 05 December 2014 -- Expera Specialty Solutions, LLC ("Expera"), a portfolio company of KPS Capital Partners, LP, announced today the acquisition of certain assets related to the Old Town Fuel & Fiber pulp mill ("Old Town"). Expera acquired the assets free and clear of substantially all liens, claims, encumbrances and interests through an auction conducted as part of a sale process under Section 363 of the United States Bankruptcy Code. The U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Maine formally approved the transaction today.
Founded more than a century ago and located in Old Town, ME, OldTown is a high-quality pulp mill with the capacity to produce annually 200,000 tons of Northern Bleached Kraft pulp.. The mill closed indefinitely this past August. Expera intends to invest significant capital and resources into OldTown to restart the mill and ensure the highest level of production quality and capacity.
"I'm excited to welcome the OldTown employees back to work and to the Expera family," stated Russ Wanke, Chief Executive Officer of Expera. "Expera is a financially strong enterprise with an excellent platform positioned for expansion and growth. Under Expera, OldTown will have significant top-line stability and will benefit from our commitment to continuous improvement and manufacturing excellence. OldTown provides Expera with added internal capabilities, allowing us to deliver to our customers more product innovation and even better service."
Raquel Palmer, a Partner of KPS, said, "We are very proud of the progress Expera has made to date. The Company has improved its profitability under our ownership and exceeded all of our growth expectations. Expera continues to capitalize on opportunities to grow its business and capabilities, and this acquisition further demonstrates the Company's commitment to being the leader in the specialty paper market."
OldTown is in the process of equipment start-up and employees will be coming back to work in several phases throughout the month of December, reaching full employment capacity by January 5.
Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton and Garrison LLP and Pierce Atwood LLP served as legal counsel to Expera and KPS.
Expera is a leading North American manufacturer of specialty paper products for use in the pressure-sensitive release liner, industrial and food packaging segments. Headquartered in Wisconsin, Expera employs approximately 2,000 people across five manufacturing facilities located in Rhinelander, WI, Mosinee, WI, Kaukauna, WI, De Pere, WI, and Old Town, ME. Additional information regarding Expera, its manufacturing facilities and its product offerings can be found at www.experaspecialty.com.
About KPS Capital Partners, LP
KPS is the manager of the KPS Special Situations Funds, a family of investment funds with more than $5.7 billion of assets under management. KPS seeks to realize significant capital appreciation by making controlling equity investments in companies across a diverse range of manufacturing industries experiencing a period of transition or challenged by the need to effect immediate and significant change. The KPS investment strategy is based primarily upon partnering with world-class management teams to effect material and sustainable improvements in the operations of its businesses. Thereafter, KPS focuses on growing its businesses, both organically and through strategic acquisitions. KPS portfolio companies have aggregate annual revenues of approximately $6.2 billion, operate 102 manufacturing facilities in 26 countries, and employ more than 46,000 associates, directly and through joint ventures worldwide. The KPS investment strategy and portfolio companies are described in detail at www.kpsfund.com.