Paper Excellence acquires Catalyst

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

The deal between Catalyst and Paper Excellence Canada Holdings Corporation (PEC), based in Richmond and parent company of Howe Sound Pulp and Paper in Port Mellon, was announced on Tuesday, Oct. 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 B.C.’s pulp and paper and forest products industries.”

Powell River Mayor Dave Formosa said the news is good for the city.

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

“I believe their intentions are good,” Formosa said. “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 B.C. forestry workers, including in Powell River, are being secured. 

Powell River-Sunshine Coast MLA Nicholas Simons echoed Horgan’s 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,” Simons said 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 B.C. facilities operating in Howe Sound, Skookumchuck and Mackenzie, as well as Meadow Lake, Sask., and Nova Scotia.

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