Metsä Tissue has agreed to divest its napkin business to Mutares Group

Metsä Tissue has agreed to divest its napkin business to keeeper Group, which is part of Mutares Group. The transaction includes the real estate, machinery and equipment and warehouses at the Stotzheim mill in Germany as well as the Fasana and Mondial brands. As a result of the transaction, the mill’s personnel is planned to be transferred to the new owner as existing employees. “The napkin business has not reached profitability targets lately and napkins are not part of our core offering anymore. Thus we have explored all the alternatives for the business to find the best solution for the Stotzheim mill and its personnel,” says Esa Kaikkonen, CEO of Metsä Tissue. "When completed, the divestment will support Metsä Tissue’s strategy and enables us to focus on our core business, producing high-quality tissue and greaseproof papers close to our customers.”
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Oji Holdings Corporation Announcement Regarding Conclusion of Basic Joint Venture Agreement on Paper Container-related Business

Oji Holdings Corporation announces that Oji HD and ISHIZUKA GLASS Co., Ltd. have concluded a basic joint venture agreement on paper container-related business with the aim of further developing the Business through cooperation between the two companies. In recent years, many packaging products that use paper materials have been developed against the backdrop of growing global environmental awareness. Under the circumstance, Oji HD and ISHIZUKA GLASS will mutually utilize the two companies’ management resources and expertise to strengthen the foundation of the Business, advance into new fields through new products development, and expand business overseas where demand is expected to grow in the future. By doing so, the two companies will further develop the Business.
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Northern Pulp plans to shut down Nova Scotia mill after premier refuses to grant extension

Nova Scotia Premier Stephen McNeil delivered a decision that could define his time in office — his government won't amend the Boat Harbour Act, forcing the impending closure of Northern Pulp's effluent facility by the end of January. The move keeps a promise McNeil made to a First Nation almost five years ago. But forces the closure of Northern Pulp, the largest player in the province's forestry sector. Without being able to use Boat Harbour to treat its effluent, the Pictou County mill is unable to operate, and could kill as many as 2,700 forestry-related jobs.
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‘Inspyre’ your customers: Building brand loyalty with purpose-driven packaging materials

Purpose-driven consumers have emerged as a growing segment within the retail business model. Now, more than ever, products need to serve their primary, intended purpose, while also contributing to a greater mission. These newly minted customer needs have underscored the importance of cause-based marketing in winning repeat business from consumers, who are zeroing in on a company’s environmental sustainability, charitable contributions and societal impact. It’s no surprise that these initiatives and re-calibrated efforts are catching on. Companies perceived as having a highly positive impact on people’s lives have grown brand value 2.5 times faster than those perceived as having a minimal impact. Packaging materials may seem like an unlikely component in cause-based marketing, but for savvy companies, they too represent an opportunity to contribute to a greater purpose, and in turn, score big points with this new breed of socially conscious customers.
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Verso to Combine 2019 Annual Meeting and Special Meeting of Stockholders

Verso Corporation announced that the 2019 annual meeting of stockholders of the Company, previously scheduled for January 21, 2020, has been rescheduled to January 31, 2020 in order to combine the matters to be voted on at the annual meeting with proposals related to the previously announced sale of our Androscoggin and Stevens Point mills to Pixelle Specialty Solutions LLC. The rescheduled annual meeting will be held in New York, New York, on January 31, 2020, beginning at 10:00 a.m. (EST) at the location announced in the definitive proxy statement. Verso's stockholders of record at the close of business on December 16, 2019, will be entitled to notice of and to vote upon matters considered at the Annual Meeting. At the Annual Meeting, among other things, stockholders will consider and vote on the election of seven directors for a term expiring at the next annual meeting of stockholders and to remain in office until their respective successors are elected and qualified.
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Sappi North America Appoints Tom Radovich as Managing Director of Cloquet, Minn. Mill

Sappi North America, Inc.announced the promotion of Tom Radovich to Managing Director of Sappi North America's Cloquet Mill in Minnesota, effective as of Dec. 1, 2019. This news follows the appointment of Mike Schultz, former Managing Director, as Vice President of Manufacturing for Sappi North America this past fall. Radovich has served as interim Managing Director of the Cloquet Mill since September. "I am proud to be given the opportunity to lead Sappi's Cloquet Mill. We continue to remain a bright spot in the community because of our strong commitment to employee safety and education, sustainability, and giving back. I look forward to strengthening these efforts further in the years to come in my new role," said Radovich.
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AF&PA Applauds Congressional Action for Continued Recognition of Biomass Carbon Neutrality

“Congress should be applauded for continued recognition of the need to foster U.S. manufacturing growth through federal biomass policy that appropriately reflects the paper and wood product industry’s use of carbon-neutral biomass for energy production. Clear public policy on biomass carbon neutrality will level the playing field to help our manufacturers compete globally and support future economic growth and job creation. That’s a winning combination and action our industry has sought for more than nine years. Moreover, implementation of clear policy will support the use of carbon neutral biomass as a fuel source for our mills, which provides significant greenhouse gas reduction benefits to the environment.”
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AF&PA Thanks House for Approving USMCA Implementing Legislation, Setting Up Senate Vote

“We thank the House of Representatives for passing USMCA implementing legislation. The modernized USMCA negotiated by the Administration will serve to strengthen the U.S. pulp and paper industry and its products in the North American market. We urge the Senate to work swiftly and follow suit to ensure free and fair cross-border trade and a wider door to competition, economic growth and job creation for our industry and others. “Our industry’s exports to Mexico and Canada supported 88,000 direct American jobs and in 2018 amounted to $10.1 billion or 44 percent of total exports. The USMCA stands to play a central role in bolstering growth across both areas thanks to strong regulatory standards and provisions to combat illegal logging and associated trade.”
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Turnover Rate at Truckload Carriers Rose in Third Quarter

The turnover rate at large truckload fleets – those with more than $30 million in annual revenue – jumped nine points, the largest quarterly increase since the second quarter of 2016, to an annualized rate of 96%. The increase set the figure at its highest point since the second quarter of 2018. The churn rate at smaller carriers also rose – ticking up six points to 73% from the lowest level since 2011. “Counterintuitively, we saw turnover rise even as the freight demand was relatively soft,” said ATA Chief Economist Bob Costello. “While turnover rose at both small and large carriers, the reasons were quite different. Large carriers reduced the number of drivers they employed, in keeping with lackluster freight levels, but smaller carriers added to their driver pools, increasing their number of drivers by 1.9%.
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