Paper Excellence Canada buys Catalyst Paper, which owns the Crofton mill. (File photo)

Catalyst Paper, including 3 Island mills, sold to Paper Excellence Canada

Company says sale will benefit employees and communitiues

Catalyst Paper, which owns the Crofton pulp and paper mill, has been sold to Paper Excellence Canada.

Paper Excellence is a BC-headquartered company with close to two million tonnes of pulp production capacity through five operating mills in Canada and two mills in France.

Catalyst Paper’s purchase by PEC, which is subject to regulatory review and final approvals, comes after months of joint efforts by the B.C. government, Catalyst Paper and potential purchasers to maintain the viability of the company’s operations.

How much Catalyst was sold for has yet to be released.

A press release from Catalyst states that the sale takes in all of its assets, including its three mills on the Island.

Catalyst employs about 1,500 forestry workers, including about 570 at the Crofton mill, as well as at its other two mills in Port Alberni and Powell River. Catalyst also generates more than $2 billion in annual economic activity in B.C.

RELATED STORY: AMERICAN DUTIES AGAINST CATALYST PAPER DROPPED

“When complete, this transaction will benefit all of our stakeholders, including our customers, employees, suppliers, the communities where we operate, and B.C.’s pulp and paper and forest products industries,” said Ned Dwyer, Catalyst’s president and CEO.

PEC will also assume all Catalyst’s obligations to its employees, including pension plans, as part of the deal.

The sale still requires the approval of the Supreme Court of British Columbia, as well as the approval of at least two-thirds of the votes cast by Catalyst shareholders at a special meeting that has yet to be held.

The sale is expected to close by the end of this year, or the beginning of 2019.

“Paper Excellence is evolving into a major player within Canada’s forest industry,” said Brian Baarda, Paper Excellence’s CEO.

“This announcement is a continued step towards Paper Excellence’s long-term growth plan within Canada and the province. With this acquisition, Paper Excellence is clearly demonstrating its commitment to British Columbia.”

The purchase of Catalyst follows quickly on the heels of regulatory changes made by the provincial government in July to protect the pensions of Catalyst retirees and workers in the event that only part of the company was sold.

RELATED STORY: PROVINCE STEPS IN TO PROTECT CATALYST PAPER’S PENSION PLAN

“Keeping these operations open and jobs in place shows what British Columbians can achieve when we come together and put workers, families and communities first,” said Premier John Horgan. “This purchase by Paper Excellence Canada is another major vote of confidence in our province and people. More importantly, it will help keep families and communities strong as we continue to revitalize our coastal forest sector .

Doug Routley, MLA for Nanaimo-North Cowichan, added that the Crofton mill is an important employer on the mid-Island.

“This purchase agreement will help ensure a brighter future for nearly 600 families on the mid-Island,” he said.



robert.barron@cowichanvalleycitizen.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Robert Barron column: Let’s hear it for the kids

The students I talked to at the event came from numerous schools

Cowichan transgender woman hosting Gender Identity Expression Day

“We need to have a public conversation about this.”

Andrea Rondeau column: Chemainus Theatre Festival a unique, surprising venue

Not many towns the size of Chemainus can boast a year-round professional theatre

Sarah Simpson Column: Perfect road trip features flat tire and lost wallet

My husband is a loser. Not a loser in the dead-beat, good-for-nothin’… Continue reading

Are you 55 or older? Try 5 sports for free

June 5 event promotes BC 55+ Games and active living

REPLAY: The best videos from across B.C. this week

In case you missed it, here’s a look at the replay-worth highlights from this week in the province

Coming up in Cowichan: From bike rodeo to ‘A Word About Consent’, lots on the calendar

Christian Science event coming to Duncan Saturday, May 25 “Breaking News: Freedom… Continue reading

Raptors beat Bucks 100-94 to advance to franchise’s first-ever NBA Finals

Leonard has 27 points, 17 boards to lead Toronto past Milwaukee

Third person charged in death of B.C. teen found in torched SUV

Inderdeep Kaur Deo facing charge of accessory after the fact to murder

Kamloops girl, 9, recovering from carbon monoxide poisoning now out of ICU

Her mother who was sleeping in the same tent with her did not survive

‘I think he’s still alive’: B.C. mom pleads for help finding son last seen a month ago

Family offering $5,000 reward for information leading to the safe return of Tim Delahaye

New poll suggests one-third don’t want politicians to wear religious symbols

Local politicians shouldn’t be allowed to wear hijabs, crucifixes or turbans on the job, survey suggests

Raptors fans far from home adjust plans to watch pivotal playoff game

Raptors currently lead the playoff series 3-2, and a win Saturday would vault them into NBA finals

PHOTOS: First responders in Fernie rescue baby owl who fell from nest

The baby owl’s inability to fly back to its nest prompted a rescue by first responders

Most Read