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FutureMark Alsip Mill Closes Early

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FutureMark’s Alsip, Ill., USA, mill reportedly has now closed down indefinitely. The company had previously announced the mill would remain open until early this month (September 2014). 
FutureMark earlier cited challenging market conditions in the North American coated paper market as the key reason for the decision to shutter the mill. In announcing the closure plans, the company said that Alsip was the only facility in North America making coated publication and printing papers predominantly from recycled materials. FutureMark says its recycled-content printing and writing paper mill in Manistique, Mich., will continue to operate.
The company is working with an investment bank with a background in the paper industry to assist in evaluating alternatives for maximizing the value of Alsip in a sale—including converting the facility to a deinked pulp mill, using the site to produce tissue, converting the mill for the production of packaging papers or specialty grades, or continuing its current line of coated papers. As of late August, the company says it had received interest from several potential buyers.
The deal, expected to close around September 10, includes $7 million cash, a $3 million secured note, and five million shares in Nanotech to be held in escrow and released over five years.

Wasilenkoff noted that Fortress Paper is selling the optical features operations to focus on its dissolving pulp and security paper segments and improve the company's liquidity. Assets of the Bank of Canada's Optical Security Material division were purchased by Fortress in 2011 for $750,000 to complement its Swiss business, but the supply agreement provides access to security material at favorable prices.


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