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York County paper mill is selling for $300M. Here’s what is coming next.

Resolute Forest Products, a Catawba-based manufacturer of paper products, recently filed an appeal with the S.C. Department of Revenue regarding their property value for tax years 2015, 2016 and 2017. The appeal resulted in a tax revenue loss to the Rock Hill school district.
Resolute Forest Products, a Catawba-based manufacturer of paper products, recently filed an appeal with the S.C. Department of Revenue regarding their property value for tax years 2015, 2016 and 2017. The appeal resulted in a tax revenue loss to the Rock Hill school district. File photo

A Catawba paper and pulp mill is being sold for $300 million.

Resolute Forest Products announced it has a purchase agreement in place with New-Indy Containerboard, according to Resolute Forest. The deal includes $260 million in cash and $40 million of liabilities, largely pension benefits.

The mill now employs 460 people. New-Indy will, under the agreement, offer them continued employment when the deal is finalized. It should be finished “at or around year-end,” according to the release.

“This transaction will allow us to realize significant value for an asset whose greatest earnings potential lies with the investment in and diversification of the mill’s operations, as proposed by New-Indy,” said Yves Laflamme, Resolute president and CEO.

The site includes a kraft mill and pulp dryer for producing market pulp, a thermomechanical pulp mill and a lightweight coated paper machine.

“We are pleased that the mill will continue to operate, and benefit the local community, both economically and socially,” Laflamme said.

Bowater opened the Catawba plant in 1957. The company merged with Abitibi Consolidated in 2007 to form AbitibiBowater. That company emerged from creditor protection in 2011 as Resolute Forest Products, Inc.

New-Indy manufactures and supplies recycled containerboard for the corrugated box industry. It began in 2012 and is headquartered in Ontario, Calif. The company has sides in its home state along with Illinois and Indiana.

“Over the coming days,” Laflamme said, “we will communicate with our customers to discuss the impact of the transaction and the transition of supply for their orders of lightweight coated paper and market pulp.”

According to its website, New-Indy entered into an agreement in 2015 to buy Carolina Container Company in High Point, N.C. New-Indy uses all recycled fiber in its manufacturing, receiving more than 100 truckloads of old corrugated containers at its sites daily. Sites in California, according to the website, include co-generation power plants serving the mills and powering thousands of nearby homes and businesses.

John Marks: jmarks@fortmilltimes.com; @JohnFMTimes
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