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Expera Closes Acquisition of Old Town Fuel & Fiber

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In accordance with plans announced last month, Expera Specialty Solutions, Kaukauna, Wis., USA, a portfolio company of KPS Capital Partners, has acquired certain assets related to the Old Town Fuel & Fiber pulp mill in Old Town, Maine. 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 U.S. Bankruptcy Code. The U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Maine formally approved the transaction this past week.
 
Founded more than a century ago and located in Old Town, the mill has the capacity to produce 200,000 tpy of northern bleached kraft pulp. The mill closed indefinitely this past August. Expera intends to invest significant capital and resources into Old Town to restart the mill and ensure the highest level of production quality and capacity.
 
"I'm excited to welcome the Old Town employees back to work and to the Expera family," stated Russ Wanke, CEO of Expera. "Expera is a financially strong enterprise with an excellent platform positioned for expansion and growth. Under Expera, Old Town will have significant top-line stability and will benefit from our commitment to continuous improvement and manufacturing excellence. Old Town 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 that "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."
 
Old Town is in the process of equipment startup and employees will be coming back to work in several phases throughout the month of December, reaching full employment capacity by January 5.
 
Expera is a producer of specialty paper products for use in the pressure-sensitive release liner, industrial, and food packaging segments. The company employs some 2,000 people at five manufacturing facilities—Rhinelander, Mosinee, and Kaukauna, and De Pere, Wis., and Old Town.
 

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