Canada’s largest pulp producer acquires Catalyst

Mayor confident Powell River mill will continue to operate

Catalyst Paper Corporation has been sold, including its Powell River mill.

The deal between Paper Excellence Canada Holdings Corporation (PEC), based in Richmond, and Catalyst was announced on Tuesday, October 9.

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Subject to regulatory review and final approvals, PEC will acquire all of the issued and outstanding shares of the company, as well as Catalyst mills in Powell River, Crofton and Port Alberni.

In a statement, Catalyst president and chief executive officer Ned Dwyer said, "When complete this transaction will benefit all of our stakeholders, including our customers, employees, suppliers, the communities where we operate, and BC's pulp and paper and forest products industries."

City of Powell River mayor Dave Formosa said the news is good for Powell River.

Formosa said he and former Catalyst president and chief executive officer Joe Nemeth met PEC chief executive officer Brian Baarda on Friday, October 5.

“I believe their intentions are good,” said Formosa. “It seems quite obvious to me that Paper Excellence wants to operate Powell River.”

In a statement, premier John Horgan said the jobs and livelihoods of 1,500 BC forestry workers, including in Powell River, are being secured.

Powell River-Sunshine Coast MLA Nicholas Simons echoed Horgan and Formosa’s optimism.

“I’m really pleased that Paper Excellence Canada sees the value in protecting the 360 employees who live and work in Powell River, said Simons in a statement. “Along with its mill in Port Mellon, Paper Excellence's operations are a key part of the forest economy on the mainland coast.”

PEC is Canada’s largest pulp producer with BC facilities operating in Howe Sound, Skookumchuck and Mackenzie, as well as Meadow Lake, Saskatchewan, and Nova Scotia.

© Melita New Era

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