A bill to modify state valuations for Skowhegan, Madison and two other towns to reflect the loss of local paper mills’ value has cleared hurdles in the Maine House of Representatives and Senate, but has a long road ahead before final passage. Hanging in the balance are millions of dollars in local property taxes and potentially higher tax rates, as the struggling paper industry also faces the prospect of layoffs because of a challenging market environment. The bill’s primary sponsor, Rep. Jeff McCabe, D-Skowhegan, and co-sponsor Sen. Rod Whittemore, R-Skowhegan, both said Wednesday they are trying to ensure passage of the measure, which would refresh the state’s valuation of the four towns immediately and allow adjustments to state revenue sharing and general purpose aid for schools.
The fourth quarter and full-year ended May 2, 2015, consisted of 13 weeks and 52 weeks, respectively, as compared to 14 weeks and 53 weeks in the prior year. Comparable sales data in this release exclude the impact of the additional week in fiscal 2014 and are on a comparable week basis. Fourth quarter consolidated revenues decreased 10.4% to $1.2 billion versus the prior year. Consolidated fourth quarter earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) improved to $33 million, as compared to $11 million in the prior year. For fiscal 2015, consolidated revenues decreased 4.9% to $6.1 billion versus the prior year. Fiscal 2015 consolidated EBITDA increased 30.4% to $327 million, as compared to $251 million a year ago
“At a time when the world’s governments, businesses and civil society leaders are focusing on developing global commitments to combat climate change, to be agreed at the Climate Summit in Paris in December this year, consumers can already participate in making a difference,” said Mr. William Street Jr., Chairman of PEFC International, at a specially convened summit of the world’s leading experts in sustainable forest management certification in London this week. Calling on British consumers to do their bit by seeking and buying day-to-day products carrying the prestigious PEFC ‘two trees’ label, Mr. Street emphasized that “it is within everybody’s power to combat climate change, and often all that is required are simple actions. By opting for PEFC-labeled products for example, we can all make our own small yet important contribution to avoid deforestation and support responsible forest management”.
Metsä Group's parent company Metsäliitto Cooperative has reached an understanding with mutares on the divestment of the entire share capital of Metsä Wood France SAS. mutares submitted an irrevocable offer to Metsäliitto Cooperative and the contemplated transaction will now be subject to the information and consultation process of employee representatives of Metsä Wood France.
YP, and the newly formed Print Media LLC, will operate independently with dedicated teams and under separate leadership, but will continue to serve existing and new customers through a joint sales organization. Analysts reflected on the changes and whether the decision could move the company closer to an acquisition. Under CEO Jack Freker, who most recently served as the senior executive at YP overseeing the print directory business, Print Media will package, publish and distribute the nearly 90 million YP-branded print directories distributed annually in the United States. The print directory business will continue to focus on innovation and advertisers, and is expected to release additional product enhancements in 2015.
Gap Inc. (NYSE: GPS) today applauded the bipartisan Senate vote to approve Trade Promotion Authority legislation. The measure approved will modernize and renew Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) and help to build a robust trade agenda to bolster U.S. economic growth and competitiveness. The measure now goes to the President for his signature. Gap Inc. also conveyed its strong support for Congressional renewal this week of trade preferences for Africa, Haiti, and the Generalized System of Preferences, as well as Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA).
Brent for August was up 20 cents at $63.69 a barrel by 7.10 a.m. EDT, after ending the previous day down 96 cents, or 1.5 percent. U.S. crude for August was down 20 cents at $60.07 a barrel, after finishing Wednesday down 74 cents. An EIA report on Wednesday said U.S. gasoline stocks climbed 680,000 barrels to 218.49 million in the week to June 19. A Reuters poll had indicated a 304,000-barrel drop.
Ahlstrom, a global high performance fiber-based materials company, has signed a EUR 180 million three-year revolving credit facility. The facility includes two 12-month extension options for the company subject to the consent of the participating banks. The committed facility refinances the existing EUR 200 facility signed in June 2011 (initially EUR 250 million) and will be used for general corporate purposes.
“International commerce is vital to the pulp, paper, packaging and wood products industry. In 2014, direct U.S. exports of forest products amounted to $31.9 billion, but our industry also benefits from exports of other goods. Paper, paperboard and wood packaging materials sold domestically are used to package and transport goods exported by other U.S. industries. Either by direct or indirect exports, our industry will benefit by opening new international markets and breaking down foreign trade barriers.
Rock-Tenn Company (RockTenn) (NYSE:RKT) and MeadWestvaco Corporation (MWV) (NYSE:MWV) today announced that shareholders of RockTenn and stockholders of MWV overwhelmingly approved the proposed combination of the two packaging companies into WestRock Company (WestRock) at their respective special meetings held earlier today. RockTenn and MWV have now received all necessary approvals and expect the transaction to close on July 1, 2015. The parties expect that WestRock will begin "regular-way" trading, and RockTenn and MWV will be delisted from the NYSE on July 2, 2015.