Resolute Forest Buys Paper Recycler Atlas for $156 Million

Resolute Forest Buys Paper Recycler Atlas for $156 Million

Canadian paper firm Resolute Forest Products Inc. has acquired Atlas Paper Holdings, a paper recycler and virgin goods maker, for $156 million.

Montreal-based Resolute purchased Miami-based Atlas, which makes recycled and virgin paper tissue products for home and away, according to a news release.

Atlas operates a paper recycling facility in Tampa, as well as other Florida paper operations in Miami and Sanford.

Atlas makes recycled branded and private label tissue products in economy, value and premium grades.

Resolute estimates Atlas generates about $23 million of annualized earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA). Atlas employs 360 overall.

Resolute said it expects to maintain Atlas’ current structure, and most employees, including management, will remain with the firm.

 “This is a step-change acquisition that provides us with an immediate position in the multi-billion-dollar North American consumer tissue market," said Richard Garneau, Resolute president and CEO. "We're following through on our strategy toward the Resolute of the future with an acquisition that capitalizes on our unique ability to capture synergies by integrating forward our U.S. market pulp assets.”

Resolute said it will optimize Atlas’ pulp supply; capitalize on excess tissue converting capacity; and offer a greater range of products.

"We are excited about becoming part of a larger, diversified company that views the tissue market as a cornerstone of its future," said Jim Brown, Atlas president and CEO.

The year has had some other major paper recycling acquisitions. In August WestRock Co. agreed to buy paper recycler SP Fiber Holdings Inc. and its minority holding in a renewable energy joint venture for a deal worth $288.5 million. The Norcross, Ga.-based WestRock, which began operations in July as a merger between paper recyclers and product makers MeadWestvaco Corp. and Rock-Tenn Co., acquired SP Fiber, which makes recycled containerboard and kraft and bag paper, with mills in Dublin, Ga., and Newberg, Ore.

WestRock gained SP Fiber’s 48-percent interest in Green Power Solutions of Georgia LLC (GPS). The renewable energy joint venture provides energy to Georgia Power and steam to the Dublin paper mill.

SP Fiber makes containerboard and kraft and bag paper from 100-percent post-consumer recycled fiber, for end use in consumer and corrugated packaging.

Back in February Caraustar Industries Inc. completed its purchase of major paper recycling firm The Newark Group Inc. The Austell, Ga.-based recycled paper products company agreed in July 2014 to buy Newark, which is based in Cranford, N.J., employs about 1,500 and operates more than 20 North American manufacturing plants.

Newark Group makes recycled paperboard, linerboard, industrial tubes, cores and other converted products, including book covers and packaging solutions. Caraustar makes recycled paperboard and converted paperboard products and is a portfolio company of Miami-based H.I.G. Capital.

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