Appleton Papers, Hicks Acquisition Drop Proposed Business Combination

Appleton Papers Inc., Appleton, Wis., USA, and Hicks Acquisition Co. II, this week reported that they have agreed to discontinue their recently proposed business combination. According to Mark Richards, Appleton's chairman, president, and CEO, "volatile market conditions prevented a deal from being struck that was acceptable to both parties. Therefore, after consulting with Hicks' management, we have decided to discontinue the transaction."

Richards noted that "we entered into negotiations with the best intentions to create a combined business that would strengthen Appleton's balance sheet, support its businesses, and give the company greater flexibility to pursue growth opportunities. Achieving those objectives is still part of our strategy going forward, and we will continue to pursue them as market conditions improve."

Richards confirmed that, in spite of the transaction not closing, Appleton will proceed with its plans to do business as Appvion, which the company announced in May. The Appvion name combines the words "applied" and "innovation," reflecting the company's transformation from a paper company to a business focused on coating formulations and applications, and specialty chemicals.