Daily News: November 12, 2014

Expera to Acquire Old Town Fuel Out of Bankruptcy

Expera Specialty Solutions, a portfolio company of KPS Capital Partners, announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire certain assets related to the Old Town Fuel & Fiber pulp mill (Old Town or the Business) from its senior secured lender. Expera expects to complete the transaction as part of a sale process under §363 of the United States Bankruptcy Code. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Old Town is a high-quality pulp mill with the capacity to produce more than 200,000 tons annually of Northern Bleached Kraft pulp. The Business was founded more than a century ago and is located in Old Town, ME. The Business closed this past August, which left the mill shut down indefinitely. Expera intends to invest significant additional capital and resources into Old Town to ensure the highest level of production quality and capacity.

Russ Wanke, CEO of Expera, stated, “A combination of Expera and Old Town will significantly strengthen both businesses. In particular, the combination will increase Expera’s vertical integration into pulp and reduce Old Town’s go-forward commercial risk by becoming part of Expera, a financially strong enterprise, that serves stable and growing end markets and possesses a dedicated base of long-term customers rather than as a standalone enterprise.”

Governor Paul R. LePage of Maine stated, “I am honored to welcome Expera to Maine. We appreciate their investment and determination to get this facility back up and running as quickly as possible. The Old Town facility combines a valuable asset with tremendously knowledgeable and hardworking Mainers who are eager to get back to work. My administration will continue working with Expera as they move forward. This is terrific news for the future of Maine’s forest products industry.”

Completion of the transactions is expected to occur during the fourth quarter of 2014, subject to customary closing conditions.

Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton and Garrison and Pierce Atwood served as legal counsel to Expera and KPS.

Expera is a North American manufacturer of specialty paper products for use in the pressure-sensitive release liner, industrial and food packaging segments.