News Corp announced that it has entered into an agreement to acquire the Base Chemicals business from S&P Global and IHS Markit. Base Chemicals will become part of Dow Jones’ Professional Information Business, alongside OPIS, the energy and renewables data and information business. The OPIS acquisition (along with related assets), also from S&P Global and IHS Markit, was announced in August. The addition of Base Chemicals and OPIS will further enhance Dow Jones’ information services business. Base Chemicals is known for its pricing data, insights, analysis and forecasting capabilities for the world’s most important base chemicals delivered through its leading Market Advisory and World Analysis services. Base Chemicals has a strong track record of growth, with a revenue base that is nearly 100% digital and recurring, and, similar to OPIS, has high margins with modest Capex requirements.
O-I Glass, Inc. announced that a subsidiary of the company has entered into a definitive agreement to sell Cristar TableTop S.A.S. (“Cristar”) to Vidros Colombia S.A.S, an affiliate of Nadir Figueiredo S.A., a glass tableware producer based in Brazil. The sale would generate gross proceeds of approximately $95 million and is expected to close during the first half of 2022, subject to customary regulatory approvals and other closing conditions. Cristar owns a dedicated tableware manufacturing plant in Buga, Colombia, that exports tableware to approximately 40 countries around the world and generated approximately $14.6 million of EBITDA(1) during the last twelve months ended September 30, 2021. “O-I continues to advance its strategy including the company’s portfolio optimization program which will enable future growth in the core business,” said Andres Lopez, O-I Glass CEO. “We are deploying proceeds from the sale of non-core assets to help fund our expansion plan, leveraging our exciting new MAGMA solution, that includes investment with attractive returns.”
First quarter-to-date service performance scores covering the period Oct. 1 through Dec. 17 included: *First-Class Mail: 90.1 percent of First-Class Mail delivered on time against the USPS service standard, an improvement of 1.6 percentage points from the fourth quarter. *Marketing Mail: 91.8 percent of Marketing Mail delivered on time against the USPS service standard, consistent with performance from the fourth quarter. *Periodicals: 81.2 percent of Periodicals delivered on time against the USPS service standard, a slight decrease of 1.56 percent compared to performance from the fourth quarter. *Overall, the average number of days to deliver a mailpiece across the network was 2.7 days.
Plum Grove Inc., an award-winning integrated marketing agency, announced its $4M expansion. The 2021 growth plan includes the relocation of its headquarters to Cary, Illinois, and investment in additional print capacity, including the purchase of a Komori Lithrone 6-Color Offset Printing Press. The expansion comes as the company celebrates its 40th year anniversary. Construction updates on the 43,000 square-foot facility is expected to be completed in October 2021. Located in McHenry County, the new address at 320 Cary Point Drive in Cary, Illinois, is approximately 30 miles from Chicago O’Hare International Airport and 45 miles from downtown Chicago. The building will house Plum Grove’s corporate offices, print production, mailing services, trade show displays, sign shop, pick-and-pack operations, digital marketing, and creative services under one roof with capacity for future growth.
Total European shipments of graphic papers in October 2021 were down 3.1% vs. October 2020 and were UP 4.5% year-to-date. Total European shipments of newsprint in October 2021 were down 6.4% vs. October 2020 and were down 3.7% year-to-date. Total European shipments of sc-magazine in October 2021 were down 12.5% vs. October 2020 and were UP 0.7% year-to-date. Total European shipments of coated mechanical reels in October 2021 were down 7.6% vs. October 2020 and were UP 2.4% year-to-date. Total European shipments of uncoated mechanical (improved & others) in October 2021 were down 77.2% vs. October 2020 and were UP 3.5% year-to-date. Total European shipments of coated woodfree in October 2021 were UP 13.2% vs. October 2020 and were UP 11.6% year-to-date. Total European shipments of uncoated woodfree in October 2021 were down 0.1% vs. October 2020 and were UP 11.2% year-to-date.
Canfor Pulp Products Inc. announced an extended outage on one production line at its Northwood Northern Bleached Softwood Kraft (“NBSK”) Pulp mill located in Prince George, British Columbia (“BC”). The outage is to enable the rebuild of the lower furnace of its number one recovery boiler (“RB1”), in order to ensure the safe and reliable operation of the boiler. The Company currently estimates that the extended downtime will be approximately 85 to 100 days, with a reduction in production of NBSK pulp of 68,000 to 80,000 tonnes and an estimated capital cost of $30 million, as well as higher associated maintenance costs. Canfor Pulp will continue to operate the second production line at the Northwood Pulp mill over this period.
Dark Horse Media, an independent comics publishing house and entertainment media company, has been acquired by the Embracer Group, a Swedish video game development company. Financial terms were not disclosed. Embracer is directed by cofounder and group CEO Lars Wingefors. The group’s purchase includes the acquisition of an 80% stake in Dark Horse from a “seller based in Hong Kong and China”—which appears to be Vanguard Visionary Associates, the Chinese media production company that took an investment stake in DH in 2018—and a remaining 20% share owned by Dark Horse founder, CEO, and publisher Mike Richardson and Dark Horse COO Neil Hankerson.
As Christmas is coming closer, magnificent Christmas trees are lighting up city centres and spreading seasonal splendour. Again this year, several European cities have chosen PEFC-certified firs and spruces. A PEFC-certified Christmas tree takes centre stage at Trafalgar Square in London. The 23 metre Norwegian Spruce tree is around 80 years old and was sourced from a PEFC-certified forest in Maridalen, Oslo. The tree is a gift from the people of Norway to the people of London to thank them for their support in World War II. It stands as a symbol of long-standing friendship and international cooperation between the two countries.
CJK Group, Inc. announced today that it has acquired Tweddle Group, a pre-eminent provider of one-stop product support service to a broad array of global original equipment manufacturers (OEMs). Tweddle is widely recognized as a leader in content development, content management, creative services, and digital, print, and distribution solutions—all supported by state-of-the-art proprietary technologies. At the core of Tweddle Group is a mission to greatly enhance its clients’ end-user experiences, be it simplifying and streamlining user data and access, or applying technology to enhance processes or deliver innovative new solutions. Simply put, Tweddle Group is a catalyst to OEM success; delivering solutions that yield customer retention and growth. With over 500 employees worldwide, Tweddle Group’s Global Headquarters resides in Clinton Township, MI. The company also has offices in Europe and Asia. Tweddle Group Italy is located in Ravenna, with supporting offices in Torino, Modena, and Pozzilli, Tweddle Group Belgium is located in Schelle, Belgium, and Tweddle Group China is located in Shanghai. The company was founded in 1954.
International technology group ANDRITZ has successfully improved performance of the pulp mill at Mondi Frantschach by implementing new advanced process controls. The target was to reduce the variability of Kappa, an indication of the lignin content in the pulp, in order to run the process a step closer to its maximum specification limits. This measure leads to higher production efficiency in the mill because less wood is needed to produce the same amount of pulp. As part of the optimization project, ANDRITZ Automation commissioned and fine-tuned three advanced process controls (APCs) in Mondi´s continuous cooking process. The controls implemented, including the chip level control for digester and impregnation vessel, the digester H-factor control (kinetic model for the rate of delignification in kraft pulping) and the blow-flow consistency control, were fully developed with Metris X – the distributed control system (DCS) developed by ANDRITZ Automation to simplify operational complexity, lower project risk, and improve plant performance. Metris X is a key application of the Metris UX Platform, a state-of-the-art digitalization platform that enables full functionality and support for industrial plants throughout their entire life cycle.
National Average Price for Regular Unleaded Current: $3.293; Month Ago: $3.403; Year Ago: $2.247. National Average Price for Diesel Current: $3.578; Month Ago: $3.642; Year Ago: $2.541.
American Dollar to Canadian Dollar = 0.779541; American Dollar to Chinese Yuan = 0.156962; American Dollar to Euro = 1.131004; American Dollar to Japanese Yen = 0.008745; American Dollar to Mexican Peso = 0.048308.
News of the sale of the Ohio-based company Verso could have major implications on Wisconsin's paper and timber industries. But the Swedish company that's buying it hasn't clarified its plans for the shuttered Wisconsin Rapids mill. The Rapids mill employed 900 workers and served as the upper Midwest's largest buyer of Wisconsin forest products until the company took the mill idle in July 2020. The closure has had lasting effects on the city, and on industries that relied on the mill — especially logging. The packaging company BillerudKorsnäs AB announced Sunday it would acquire Verso Corp. In statements and in a press conference, executives for the company announced a $1 billion, nearly decade-long plan to convert and upgrade the mill in Escanaba, Michigan, into a producer of sustainably made paperboard. They also discussed plans to maintain operations at Verso's mill in Quinnesec, Michigan. Conspicuously absent from either company's statements, though, was significant discussion of Wisconsin Rapids.
American Trucking Associations’ advanced seasonally adjusted (SA) For-Hire Truck Tonnage Index increased 1.3% in November after rising 0.4% in October. In November, the index equaled 114.5 (2015=100) compared with 113 in October. “November’s gain was the fourth straight, totaling 4.3%, and the tonnage level was the highest since April,” said ATA Chief Economist Bob Costello. “The recent streak is very good, but it should be noted that from April through July the index fell a total of 4.6%, so we are not quite back to where we were last spring. "With that said, the index saw the largest gain from a year earlier since May. In November, strong factory output and housing starts helped push the index higher," he said.
Highlights include: *Revenues were $103.0 million for the quarter compared to $92.4 million for the same quarter last year, an increase of $10.6 million or 11.5%. *Earnings per diluted share for the current quarter were $0.29 compared to $0.32 for the comparative quarter last year, a decrease of 9.4%. *Our gross profit margin for the quarter was 28.4% compared to 30.4% for the comparative quarter last year.
Question #1: WHAT ARE DIGITAL COOKIES? Digital cookies are text files with small pieces of data used to identify your computer when you visit a website. This data is labeled with an ID unique to you and your computer. Cookies let websites remember you, your website logins, shopping carts and preferences. They can also be used to serve you ads after you leave the website. Question #2: WHAT IS HAPPENING WITH COOKIES? Online privacy has been a widely debated topic in recent years. Overall, consumers want increased privacy and control over how their data is used. In response to these privacy demands, Google announced it would stop supporting the use of third-party cookies by 2023. Safari and Firefox have already blocked third-party cookies. Question #3: WHAT DOES THIS MEAN FOR MARKETERS? In short, marketers will need to find new sources of data or new targeting methods.
Stora Enso invests EUR 23 million in the Varkaus containerboard site. The aim of the investment is to increase the flexibility of the product range available for customers and to grow the site’s total capacity by approximately 10%. This will also increase the use of recycled fiber in the production in addition to fresh wood fiber. The Varkaus site produces unbleached softwood pulp and high-quality brown and white top containerboard for corrugated board, i.e. kraftliners. In addition to unbleached softwood pulp, the paper mill currently uses about one third of the total board packaging recycled in Finland as its raw material. The investment will further increase the use of recycled fiber in the site.
In a deal that expands its position in the food and pet food markets and beefs up its labeling capabilities, flexible packaging supplier ProAmpac has acquired Prairie State Group (PSG), an SQF-certified provider of flexible packaging and labeling services based in Franklin Park, Ill. The financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed. PSG produces a range of SQF-certified and environmentally-friendly flexible packaging and label solutions, including wrappers, pouches, compostable film, roll stock, and pressure-sensitive labels.
Graphic Packaging Holding Company has been named to Newsweek's 2022 list of America's Most Responsible Companies for a second year in a row. The recognition is based on a detailed analysis of Environmental, Social and Corporate Governance (ESG) factors. "Being recognized for a second year by Newsweek for corporate responsibility as well as being included on Forbes' inaugural list of Top Female-Friendly Companies is a true honor," said Michael Doss, President and Chief Executive Officer. "At Graphic Packaging, we are committed to delivering sustainable fiber-based consumer packaging solutions through a high-performance company culture that embraces diversity. We are committed to positive change and advancement of our environmental, social and governance initiatives. The recognitions demonstrate the progress we have made and will continue to drive to benefit all stakeholders."
International technology group ANDRITZ has received a repeat order – now the third order within the past 12 months – from Nine Dragons Paper Industries to supply a complete OCC line to China. Start-up is scheduled for the third quarter of 2023. The highly energy-saving stock preparation system will have a design capacity of 2,000 bdmt/d and will process 100% LOCC (Local Old Corrugated Container) for the production of high-quality packaging paper.
Transcendia is excited to announce it is breaking ground on a 52,000 square foot manufacturing expansion at its Hebron, OH location as part of its ongoing commitment to investing in barrier film technologies. The new building will be equipped with additional multilayer blown and cast film lines, specialty converting equipment and a new testing lab dedicated to supporting new barrier applications in the food, pharmaceutical and industrial film markets. Upon completion, the Hebron, OH facility, with its ISO 9001:2015 certified quality systems, SQF certification and class 7 clean room capabilities, will have a total footprint of 84,000 square feet. The new building will complement existing barrier extrusion capabilities, including Transcendia’s most recent seven-layer blown film asset capable of producing films up to 78” wide with thicknesses between 1.0 – 10.0 mil. In addition to multiple asset investments, Transcendia will be adding to its application and process engineering team to provide additional technology resources for customers’ new application development. To support the expansion and 24/7 operation, Transcendia will hire approximately 36 new associates including machine operators, material handlers, maintenance technicians and supervisors.
Verso Corporation announced that it has entered into a definitive merger agreement under which BillerudKorsnäs AB will acquire all of the outstanding shares of Verso for a purchase price of $27 per share in cash, or approximately $825 million1. Verso's Board of Directors, acting upon the recommendation of a special committee of Verso's Board, has unanimously approved and resolved to recommend approval of the merger by Verso's shareholders. The transaction is expected to close in the second quarter of 2022. The acquisition of Verso is fully in line with BillerudKorsnäs' strategy to drive profitable growth in paperboard, and the ambition to expand into North America. BillerudKorsnäs aims to build one of the most cost-efficient and sustainable paperboard platforms in North America by converting several of Verso's assets into paperboard machines while maintaining Verso's position as a quality and cost leader in specialty and coated freesheet paper.
*BillerudKorsnäs has entered into an agreement to acquire Verso for a purchase price of approximately USD 825 million in cash, corresponding to USD 27.00 per share. *Verso is a leading producer of coated papers in North America with reported net sales for the last twelve months ended 30 September 2021 of USD 1 264 million and adjusted EBITDA of USD 158 million. *The purchase price corresponds to an enterprise value / adjusted EBITDA multiple of approximately 6x for the last twelve months ended 30 September 2021. The acquisition will immediately be accretive to earnings per share and create significant shareholder value over time with a more profitable product mix. *BillerudKorsnäs will build one of the most cost-efficient and sustainable paperboard platforms in North America by converting some of Verso’s assets into paperboard machines with an estimated capex of up to SEK 9 billion. *The acquisition and transformation will be financed through a combination of a rights issue of up to SEK 3.5 billion, additional debt and operating cash flow. *The acquisition is expected to close in the second quarter of 2022, subject to the approval of Verso’s shareholders as well as the receipt of applicable regulatory approvals and satisfaction of other customary closing conditions.
Sustainability lies at the center of Huhtamaki’s 2030 Strategy and the Company is making a leap forward towards delivering on its ambitions by closing two 10-year virtual Power Purchase Agreements (VPPAs) with BayWa r.e., a global renewable energy developer. The 200 GWh agreements cover approximately 80% of Huhtamaki’s current electricity usage in Europe, where the key global provider of sustainable packaging solutions has 18 manufacturing sites in 10 countries. ”We are committed to our ambitious 2030 strategy to become the first choice in sustainable packaging solutions. This means developing a circular approach for our operations and products. We are fully committed to supporting the transition to a zero-carbon economy and have a climate strategy with clear targets and action plans to address all our emissions. Renewable electricity plays a major role in delivering on our ambitions and the agreement we have just signed with BayWa r.e. demonstrates that it is possible to achieve significant progress in a short time,” says Charles Héaulmé, President and CEO of Huhtamaki.
Sonoco announced it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Ball Metalpack, a leading manufacturer of sustainable metal packaging for food and household products and the largest aerosol producer in North America, for $1.35 billion in cash before taking into consideration tax benefits with an estimated net present value of approximately $180 million. Ball Metalpack is a joint venture owned by Platinum Equity (51 percent) and Ball Corporation (NYSE: BLL) (49 percent). Previously part of Ball Corporation, Ball Metalpack, headquartered in Broomfield, Colorado, was formed in 2018 and has more than 100 years of experience in producing steel tinplate food and aerosol cans, as well as closures and packaging components from eight operations in Canton and Columbus, Ohio; Milwaukee and Deforest, Wisconsin; Chestnut Hill, Tennessee; Horsham, Pennsylvania; and Oakdale, California. Ball Metalpack is projected to generate approximately $850 million in revenue and $111 million of adjusted EBITDA in 2021.
Due to continued sharp rise in raw material costs and inflationary indirect costs that can no longer be offset by efficiency gains, the Felix Schoeller Group will adjust prices for its specialty papers with effect from February 1st, 2022. Costs for PE and pigments used in color receiver layers continue to rise sharply. To compensate for these increases and in addition for the inflationary indirect costs the Felix Schoeller Group will implement price increases of up to 7.5% in all its product segments effective for shipments from February 1st, 2022.
Quad/Graphics, Inc. announced it has completed the sale of its former Oklahoma City, OK, and Fernley, NV, manufacturing facilities to affiliates of Industrial Realty Group, LLC, one of the country’s largest owners of commercial and industrial properties, for combined net proceeds of $58.6 million. Quad will use proceeds from the sale to reduce debt and continue accelerating its competitive position as a marketing solutions partner.
Canfor Corporation is announcing that it has entered into an agreement with Millar Western Forest Products Ltd. to acquire the company’s solid wood operations and associated tenure for $420 million, including $56 million in working capital. The purchase price represents a multiple of 3 times 2020 and 2021 average EBITDA. Canfor expects to generate at least $25 million in annual synergies principally related to alignment with the Company’s marketing programs and operational enhancements. Millar Western’s solid wood operations, located in Alberta, Canada, will add 630 million board feet of production capacity and have access to a globally competitive, high-quality timber supply. The assets consist of three well-capitalized operations including two sawmill complexes in Whitecourt and Fox Creek and the high-value, specialty Spruceland Millworks facility in Acheson that is dedicated to serving strategic markets and generates higher, more stable returns.
“FedEx operating income grew in our second quarter, driven by strong revenue growth and effective management of our cost and expected labor availability challenges,” said Michael C. Lenz, FedEx Corp. executive vice president and chief financial officer. “While adjusted earnings per share was unchanged year over year, this year’s effective tax rate was significantly higher, as last year’s earnings included a $0.71 per share tax benefit.” Second quarter operating income improved due to higher revenue per shipment at all transportation segments, despite the negative effect of labor market challenges that have contributed to global supply chain disruptions. The challenging labor market affected the availability and cost of labor resulting in network inefficiencies, higher purchased transportation costs, and higher wage rates, which increased costs by an estimated $470 million year over year, primarily at FedEx Ground. The quarter’s results also benefited from continued strategic management actions to improve revenue quality and favorable net fuel.
Bloomsbury Publishing Plc announces that it has completed the purchase of the members’ interests of ABC-CLIO LLC. The consideration is $22.9 million (£17.3 million), of which $22.3 million (£16.8 million) has been satisfied in cash on completion and up to $0.6 million (£0.5 million) will be satisfied in cash post completion. ABC-CLIO is an established academic publisher of reference, nonfiction, online curriculum and professional development materials in both print and digital formats for schools, academic libraries and public libraries, primarily in the USA. Founded in 1955, ABC-CLIO is based in Santa Barbara, California. ABC-CLIO has four imprints and 32 databases that provide curriculum-aligned content and lesson plans, professional development support and student activities to US schools and academic institutions. It has more than 23,000 titles in its portfolio.
First quarter-to-date service performance scores covering the period Oct. 1 through Dec. 10 included: *First-Class Mail: 90.6 percent of First-Class Mail delivered on time against the USPS service standard, an improvement of 2.1 percentage points from the fourth quarter. *Marketing Mail: 92.1 percent of Marketing Mail delivered on time against the USPS service standard, consistent with performance from the fourth quarter. *Periodicals: 82.0 percent of Periodicals delivered on time against the USPS service standard, a slight decrease of .74 percent compared to performance from the fourth quarter. Overall, average days to deliver a mailpiece across the network was 2.7 days.
Fourth Quarter Fiscal Year 2021 Financial Highlights *Adobe achieved record revenue of $4.11 billion in its fourth quarter of fiscal year 2021, which represents 20 percent year-over-year growth. Diluted earnings per share was $2.57 on a GAAP basis and $3.20 on a non-GAAP basis. *Digital Media segment revenue was $3.01 billion, which represents 21 percent year-over-year growth. Creative revenue grew to $2.48 billion, representing 19 percent year-over-year growth. Document Cloud revenue was $532 million, representing 29 percent year-over-year growth. *Digital Media Annualized Recurring Revenue (“ARR”) increased $571 million quarter over quarter to $12.24 billion exiting the quarter, including the addition of enterprise ARR of Frame.io, which closed on October 7, 2021. Creative ARR grew to $10.30 billion. Total enterprise ARR for Frame.io, including business closed by Adobe, exiting the quarter was approximately $29 million. Document Cloud ARR grew to $1.93 billion. *Digital Experience segment revenue was $1.01 billion, representing 23 percent year-over-year growth. Digital Experience subscription revenue was $886 million, representing 27 percent year-over-year growth. *GAAP operating income in the fourth quarter was $1.50 billion.
Berry Global Group, Inc. is proud to announce the company received an A- rating for its action on climate change from CDP, the global not-for-profit charity that runs a leading environmental disclosure platform. The new rating places Berry in the top ‘Leadership’ band and underlines meaningful actions the company is taking to meet its sustainability goals. Only 12% of companies in the Plastic Product Manufacturing group, of which Berry is part, have reached leadership level. Berry’s A- rating is also higher than both the North America and global averages across the 13,000+ companies who participated in the CDP rating process as part of their commitment to environmental transparency. “Our CDP A- rating confirms Berry is on a successful pathway to support the transition to a net-zero economy while helping our customers meet their ambitious sustainability goals,” commented Tom Salmon, Chairman and CEO of Berry Global. “This is another significant milestone in our continuing drive to create innovative, sustainable packaging and engineered products that make life better for people and the planet.”
Toray Plastics (America), Inc., announces that Chris Nothnagle will be the company’s Senior Director of New Business Development, effective January 4, 2022. Nothnagle will replace Ken Chang, who is retiring after 25 years of service to the company. He will be responsible for managing the company’s R&D team and continue to oversee Toray’s Corporate Marketing Group. Nothnagle joined Toray in 2015 and held a variety of positions prior to being named the Senior Director of Sales and Marketing of the Lumirror® Division in 2020. Prior to joining Toray he worked at ExxonMobil for 28 years. Chang joined Toray in 1996 as a Senior Development Engineer for the Torayfan® Division and rose through the ranks, having held a variety of positions in R&D. Chang will maintain his relationship with Toray and consult on strategic projects. “Chris Nothnagle is the ideal candidate to help the company chart its course in new business development and guide our R&D team,” says Mike Brandmeier, President and CEO, Toray Plastics (America), Inc. “Chris is a very talented individual who possesses a vast knowledge of our products and the global films industry that has been instrumental in helping us grow our core films business since he joined Toray. I am confident he will excel in his new role leading our combined R&D and Corporate Marketing efforts for the future.”
KP Tissue Inc. and Kruger Products L.P. announced KPLP’s plan to add to the capacity of its Sherbrooke expansion project by constructing a double width Light Dry Crepe (LDC) tissue machine with a capacity of at least 60,000 MT instead of the previously announced 30,000 MT LDC tissue machine. This additional capacity will allow us to accelerate the growth of our business and continue to provide our customers across North America with high quality tissue products like Cashmere®, SpongeTowels®, Scotties® and Purex® in Canada and White Cloud® in the U.S., said Dino Bianco, CEO with KPLP.
Georgia-Pacific announced significant investments, which total more than $500 million, at its Green Bay, Wisconsin, Broadway mill. The investments will greatly enhance the company's retail consumer tissue and towel business. Investments to the Green Bay mill include building a new paper machine using through-air-dried (TAD) technology, as well as adding associated converting equipment and infrastructure. Engineering and related work is beginning immediately, with startup of the new machine scheduled for the first half of 2024. Approximately 150 jobs will be created to operate the new papermaking complex, in addition to the mill's 850 current employees. The project will have as many as 500 construction and contract-related workers onsite at the mill, fluctuating with project timeline.
Asahi Breweries, Ltd., one of the largest Japanese beer companies headquartered in Tokyo, announced that it will be the first user1 of CanCollar® Eco Plus technology in the Japanese market as it rolls out a market test with its Asahi Super Dry brands in October 2021. Made from WestRock’s PEFC-certified CarrierKote® paperboard, CanCollar® Eco Plus packaging is recyclable and comes from sustainably managed forests. The innovative can clip design uses no glue and significantly less material than a fully enclosed box. According to Asahi, using this packaging enables the paper surface to be reduced by 77 percent for 6-can 350 ml packs and 81 percent for 6-can 500 ml packs, compared to the 6-can pack materials used in the past. Furthermore, the weight of paper used can be reduced by 65 percent for 6-can 350 ml packs and 73 percent for 6-can 500 ml packs.
National Average Price for Regular Unleaded Current: $3.312; Month Ago: $3.413; Year Ago: $2.203. National Average Price for Diesel Current: $3.590; Month Ago: $3.644; Year Ago: $2.498.
American Dollar to Canadian Dollar = 0.779917; American Dollar to Chinese Yuan = 0.156866; American Dollar to Euro = 1.132344; American Dollar to Japanese Yen = 0.008827; American Dollar to Mexican Peso = 0.048175.
When one thinks of leaders in sustainability, it’s unlikely thoughts would turn to a 200-year-old company. But a company’s age doesn’t always mean “old-school.” Monadnock Paper Mills, Inc., the oldest continuously operating paper mill in the United States, is a gold standard example of a company that has built sustainability into the DNA of its business. With a passion for the environment and ingenuity, Monadnock has developed a portfolio of award-winning and sustainably advantaged fine printing, packaging and technical papers. All Monadnock printing and packaging papers are FSC® (Forest Stewardship Council®) certified (FSC C018866) and manufactured using 100% renewable, carbon neutral Green-e certified wind-powered electricity, all under a third-party certified ISO 14001 Environmental Management System. “We’re proud that our commitment to sustainability has yielded appreciable, measurable and verified environmental impact reductions,” says Monadnock Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Richard G. Verney. “Monadnock’s ISO 14001 certification demonstrates our holistic approach to educate the marketplace and supply the world’s leading brands with sustainable materials.”
Metsä Board, part of Metsä Group, and Euroports have signed an agreement on 16 December 2021, according to which Metsä Board Corporation will sell the entire share capital of its fully owned subsidiary Oy Hangö Stevedoring Ab to Euroports Finland Oy. The transaction is expected to be completed in the first quarter of 2022. The parties have mutually agreed that the transaction price will not be disclosed. The gain on sale will be reported as an item affecting comparability and will not have a material impact on Metsä Board's key financials. Hangö Stevedoring is a port operator in the Port of Hanko and its business is not part of Metsä Board's core business. The company has approximately 180 employees and its sales in 2020 were approximately EUR 20 million.
During 2020 and early 2021, the pandemic-driven shift to stay-at-home work, where people print less, brought a dip in demand for office paper. Now with workers heading back to the office, a new survey commissioned by Stora Enso indicates an expected recovery for office printing paper. “This is good news for the industry,” says Stora Enso’s Jonathan Bakewell, VP, Head of Segment Office and Book Papers, “but we also set out to ask some broader questions about printing behaviour and preferences and what going back to the office would really look like for people.” The survey, which was rolled out to 3,400 people across Sweden, UK, France, Netherlands, and Germany, showed that a return to the office is underway now, with 35% of respondents saying they have already returned and a further 51% expecting to return soon. But they will not be going back to the five-day week. The preferred mix (33%) was for three days at the office and two days at home, while 14% aren’t planning to return to the office at all.
Global research and education leader Wiley today announced the asset purchase of eJournalPress (EJP), a leading provider of software and support services for scholarly publishing. With this investment, Wiley plans to drive the evolution of the technology and platforms that underpin research publishing and advance the future of research communication. EJP’s online manuscript submission, peer review, and journal production tracking systems deliver a comprehensive service for authors, editors and publishers to create, review and manage scholarly content as it moves through peer-review and gets published online. “Getting trusted, peer-reviewed research into the world requires both smart people and sophisticated technology,” said Jay Flynn, Wiley Executive Vice President and General Manager, Research. “By investing in the future of EJP, we will drive innovation in journal workflow and peer review management to deliver best-in-class solutions for our clients and partners.”
HH Global are delighted to have been presented with the inaugural Lead Generation Award at the Performance Marketing World Awards 2021 last week. This award celebrates our incredible collaborative campaign with Anglian Home Improvements, to generate relevant leads using contextual ad targeting. The UK Performance Marketing World Awards have been recently established to showcase best-in-business examples of performance marketing practices, which have been successful in growing new audiences and markets. We were therefore thrilled to have been shortlisted alongside 60 other impressive companies in this rapidly-growing industry for such a prestigious award.
Resolute Forest Products Inc. announced the indefinite idling of pulp and paper operations at its Calhoun (Tennessee) mill. Tissue manufacturing and converting will continue at the site and the adjacent distribution center will remain in full operation. The company anticipates that the decision will directly affect 350 hourly and salaried positions at the Calhoun mill. The facility, which employs a total of 545 people, has an annual capacity of 147,000 metric tons of pulp and 149,000 metric tons of paper as well as 60,000 metric tons of premium tissue. "We have taken the very difficult decision to indefinitely idle pulp and paper operations at Calhoun knowing how hard this is for the affected employees and their families," said Remi G. Lalonde, president and chief executive officer. "Success has proved elusive at Calhoun's pulp and paper operations, despite the best efforts of our dedicated employees and significant investments of time, energy and resources over the last few years." The company continues to accumulate significant financial losses at the mill, even with the current strong market conditions for both the pulp and uncoated freesheet paper it manufactures.
Nice-Pak brings broad-based reach to the effort, as the company's products touch consumers worldwide billions of times per year, and will seek to engage suppliers, customers, communities, and consumers with knowledge and the opportunity to participate in this important initiative. As exclusive wet wipe sponsors of Project Learning Tree and partners of American Forests, Nice-Pak and the Nice 'N CLEAN® brand are making an investment in tree planting programs and the development and implementation of youth environmental educational programs that will include: •Supporting reforestation efforts to help address climate change and social inequities faced by people in under-resourced communities: Together with American Forests, Nice-Pak aims to foster the planting of 150,000 trees across the U.S. over three years. This effort will have the potential to capture 92,000 metric tons of carbon over their lifespan. •Supporting youth environmental education using trees and forests as windows on the world: Project Learning Tree will develop and implement a digital curriculum specifically around the connection between healthy forests and human health and make it available to their K-12 school network beginning in Spring 2022, reaching over 25,000 students over the next three years. •Making a global commitment: Through Nice-Pak International colleagues in Europe, Nice-Pak will also make a commitment to the 1t.org campaign, a worldwide movement to conserve, restore and grow one trillion healthy trees worldwide by 2030.
Canfor Corporation is issuing an open letter from Don Kayne, President and CEO, calling for an approach to the management of British Columbia’s old growth forests that is based on the facts of sound science and Indigenous traditional knowledge and a collaborative process that includes broad representation. “We can choose a path that brings First Nations, labour leaders, forestry professionals and communities together to develop a sustainable old growth management plan that protects our forests and ensures sustainable employment for our communities. We are asking the Government of British Columbia to rethink the old growth deferral process,” said Don Kayne, President and CEO, Canfor. “Together, we can build on the 75% of old growth forests that are already protected or outside harvesting areas.”
Mondi has teamed up with the UK’s number 1 frozen food retailer to provide renewable, recyclable packaging in a move that further validates Mondi’s approach of using “paper where possible, plastic when useful”. Iceland is replacing its previous packaging with Mondi’s versatile functional barrier paper across a number of its ranges. The first newly packaged product to hit the shelves earlier this month was the retailer’s frozen chicken dippers, which reduces the amount of plastic used per year by 80%. The functional barrier paper is made from renewable resources with Mondi managing the paper production and coating in-house, providing a fully integrated solution. It is easy for consumers to recycle the paper in existing waste streams and as paper is the most widely recycled material in the world - 74% of paper and 83% of paper-based packaging in Europe are recycled – the solution ensures that the paper can be recycled at the end of its life, contributing to a circular economy.
International Paper announced it will build a state-of-the-art corrugated packaging plant in Atglen, Pennsylvania. The facility will employ approximately 150 team members. "We are excited to expand our footprint and continue serving our customers with the highest level of safety, quality, operational excellence and customer service," said Greg Wanta, senior vice president, North American Container. The facility will allow International Paper to expand its Industrial Packaging footprint in the northeastern United States. Construction is set to begin in the first quarter of 2022 and the company expects the plant to be fully operational in the first quarter of 2023.
R.R. Donnelley & Sons Company announced the launch of an omnichannel offering designed to meet the nonprofit industry’s need for elevated communications agility that maximizes the value of each touchpoint along the donor-member journey. To support this audience-driven expectation, RRD has mobilized to offer a specialized set of solutions designed to perform as an extension of marketing and business support teams. Initiated by a strategic discovery process, the formation of this solution includes an alignment of the following services: *Creative and content development fueled by Alchemy by RRD℠, a one-stop global creative studio *Full-service digital marketing support led by RRD’s platform-agnostic expertise and long-standing email service provider partnerships *Commercial print and direct mail resources to effectively test and execute highly targeted, event-triggered campaigns
R.R. Donnelley & Sons Company announced that it has entered into a definitive merger agreement to be acquired by affiliates of Chatham Asset Management, LLC, a leading private investment firm, in an all-cash transaction with a total enterprise value of approximately $2.3 billion and total equity value of approximately $897 million. RRD also announced that it has terminated its previously announced merger agreement with affiliates of Atlas Holdings LLC, dated November 3, 2021, pursuant to which affiliates of Atlas had agreed to acquire RRD for $10.35 per share in cash. The termination of the Amended Atlas Merger Agreement follows the decision by Atlas to waive its contractual opportunity through December 16, 2021 to negotiate an amendment of the Amended Atlas Merger Agreement such that the transaction contemplated by the Chatham Merger Agreement would no longer constitute a “Superior Proposal” as defined in the Amended Atlas Merger Agreement.
French conglomerate Vivendi confirmed it is pushing ahead with its deal to purchase the 17.9% stake in Lagardère held by investor Amber Capital for about $720.6 million. Vivendi, which also owns book publisher Editis, already holds a 26.7% stake in Lagardère and the resulting transaction will give Vivendi 45.1% of its rival's shares. Under French regulations, once a company's stake in another company exceeds the 30% level, it must make a tender offer for all remaining shares and Vivendi confirmed it will be making an offer to buy remaining shares at a price of €24.10 per share.
To keep up with increasing e-commerce demand during peak season, shippers are looking to switch from boxes to mailers to save on costs. *Shippers and 3PLs are searching for new ways to cut costs and reduce their environmental impact. *Record high e-commerce demand puts even more strain on these efforts, emphasizing efficiency in a challenging supply environment. *Mailers, including the Pregis sustainable, curbside recyclable EverTec mailer, can replace unnecessary boxes for shippers, saving on costs and creating better processes in shipping and fulfillment. *Picking the right kinds of products to shift from traditional boxes to mailers is the first step to rightsizing a product line for maximum efficiency. Part of the joy of shopping online is the experience of coming home to boxes and packages on your front porch or in the lobby of your apartment building. More and more, these packages arrive to consumers in the form of mailers instead of bulky boxes. For certain items, switching from boxes to mailers not only saves money — it also supports sustainability.
The Finnish Paperworkers’ Union has issued a strike announcement to UPM, declaring a strike to all work under the expiring paper industry collective agreement at UPM. The strike would start at the mills on Saturday 1 January 2022 at 6.00 EET except at the Lappeenranta biorefinery, where the strike would start on 1 January 2022 at 7.00 EET. The strike would end on 22 January 2022, at 6:00 EET, unless an agreement for a new collective agreement is reached before then. Should the strike materialise, UPM strives to meet customer demand through deliveries from its mills outside Finland to the extent possible. UPM will not disclose the financial impact of the possible strike at this point.
Penguin Random House’s attorneys responded today to the Department of Justice’s efforts to block its acquisition of Simon & Schuster, attacking the government’s main complaint, that the purchase would “likely result in substantial harm to authors of anticipated top-selling books and ultimately, consumers.” In filing its suit to block the deal November 2, the DOJ said that a combined PRH-S&S, along with HarperCollins, “would collectively control more than two-thirds of this market, leaving hundreds of authors with fewer alternatives and less leverage.” PRH attacks this charge on several levels and begins by calling the theory of a “top-selling” category “fiction,” noting that the government doesn’t even identify what size of an advance it is referring to. “The publishing industry does not divide the market for book rights into distinct categories based on the author’s compensation for the book,” PRH’s lawyers said.” “The royalty advance for a proposed book is driven mainly by the reader demand a particular editor anticipates for that particular book.”
Sonoco ThermoSafe and Asiana Airlines Inc., a South Korean airline headquartered in Seoul, are pleased to announce a global partnership agreement for leasing the new Pegasus ULD® temperature-controlled bulk shipping container. The agreement enables pharmaceutical freight forwarders access to Pegasus ULD® containers directly from Asiana Airlines. Sonoco ThermoSafe’s Pegasus ULD® is the world’s first FAA and EASA-approved passive bulk temperature-controlled ULD container for pharmaceutical use, which enables it to speed through international air freight handling and customs processes at the lowest possible cost. With a focus on sustainability, the Pegasus is engineered with composite materials, offering a lighter solution that is also substantially more damage-resistant than traditional metal containers. Additionally, the Pegasus ULD® contains a fully integrated, FAA-approved telemetry system providing real-time, cloud-based data on payload and ambient temperature and key environmental factors, precisely synchronized with GPS location.
Metsä Group has donated EUR 250,000 each to the University of Helsinki and the University of Oulu. These donations will be allocated to science, agriculture and forestry at the University of Helsinki and to technology at the University of Oulu. Metsä Group wants to invest in developing teaching and research in these fields. “Metsä Group produces recyclable products from northern wood for the daily needs of people around the world. Sustainability, competitive production and the top expertise of our employees lie at the core of our operations. We want to develop forestry and the forest industry, and that requires top quality higher education and research,” says Ilkka Hämälä, President and CEO of Metsä Group.
Paper Excellence announced the donation of $50,000 to the Pacific Salmon Foundation to support regeneration and recovery of wild Pacific salmon. These funds will support the Pacific Salmon Foundation’s Community Salmon Program which supports volunteer and community–driven organizations that undertake salmon conservation and restoration projects. “With half of Pacific salmon populations in a serious state of decline, we welcome the generous donation from Paper Excellence, which will advance vital community-based salmon enhancement and conservation activities,” said Michael Meneer, President & CEO, Pacific Salmon Foundation. “The Community Salmon Program supports more than 300 volunteer-led programs in B.C. with dedicated individuals committed to improving salmon habitat and survival.”
Mark Ushpol has been appointed Executive Vice President of the Food Packaging & Technical Solutions business area and a member of the Group Executive Management team as of January 1, 2022. Mark has more than twenty years of experience in the paper and packaging industry and was most recently managing director for DS Smith North America Packaging. Prior to this, he held several management positions at companies such as Mondi and Domtar in the US., Europe and South Africa, as well as served as association representative in several industry organizations. “I am truly inspired by the work Ahlstrom-Munksjö does in the area of specialty papers and packaging, and I am very much looking forward to working with this talented team to bring sustainable fiber-based solutions to the world,” commented Mark Ushpol. Robyn Buss, currently Executive Vice President of the Food Packaging & Technical Solutions business area and member of the Group Executive Management Team, has announced her retirement effective at the end of 2021. Robyn Buss has spent more than 30 years in the specialty paper industry and has served several Wisconsin-based paper plants during her career. Robyn Buss joined Ahlstrom-Munksjö with the acquisition of Expera Specialty Solutions at the end of 2018.
Mondi; IMA Ilapak and Les Crudettes have won three prizes at the prestigious French packaging award and the Trophées de l’innovation LSA for a new paper packaging. Mondi developed a recyclable functional barrier paper, which is converted on VFFS machines of IMA Ilapak for a selection of Les Crudettes’ pre-washed, ready to eat salads. Their solution won the environment and production categories at the prestigious French packaging awards as well as the Trophées de l’innovation LSA.
For fish wholesalers Bröderna Hanssons, the sea is their livelihood. People have been enjoying their fish and shellfish since the company began in 1880. To ensure that also future generations can enjoy their seafood, Bröderna Hanssons focus not only on the fish, but also sustainability. One step in taking better care of the sea was to replace the polystyrene box with a fiber-based fish box made of corrugated board. Bröderna Hanssons are leaders in the fishing industry, and are passionate about producing, refining and selling fresh fish and shellfish products to their customers. The majority of the company’s sales go to grocery companies such as ICA, Coop and Axfood, but customers also include restaurants, schools and large-scale kitchens. Bröderna Hanssons care about the climate, and are constantly looking for more eco-friendly means of production and distribution. “We want to take responsibility for fish and shellfish production, in order to preserve the ecosystem and make sure that future generations can enjoy the fruits of the sea too. And we welcome our customers and partners to join us in this endeavour!” says Daniel Thunberg, Head of Marketing at Bröderna Hanssons.
R.R. Donnelley & Sons Company announced today that its Board of Directors unanimously determined that an unsolicited proposal from Chatham Asset Management, LLC to acquire all of the common stock of the Company not already owned by Chatham and its affiliates for $10.85 per share in cash constitutes a “Superior Proposal” as defined in the Company’s previously announced definitive merger agreement with affiliates of Atlas Holdings LLC, dated as of November 3, 2021, subject to the condition that Chatham agree to extend the Revised Chatham Proposal until 9:05 a.m. CST on Friday, December 17, 2021. If Chatham refuses to agree to the Timing Condition, the Board will deem the Revised Chatham Proposal as withdrawn and incapable of being accepted by the Company. Under the terms of the Amended Agreement, affiliates of Atlas have agreed to acquire the Company for $10.35 per share in cash. “Today’s announcement is a testament to the robust process we have in place to maximize value for all stockholders,” said John C. Pope, Chairman of the Board. “Our Board and management team remain committed to acting in the best interests of RRD and all its stockholders, and will continue to take actions to achieve this objective.”
UPM is investing EUR 10 million in the development of UPM Plywood's plywood mill in Joensuu. The investment includes new production lines, new workspaces and 720 square meters of completely new production space. UPM's investment strengthens the mill's competitiveness by improving the mill's security of supply and ensuring the high quality of demanding products. UPM Joensuu manufactures plywood and plywood components for demanding industrial applications, such as the floors of heavy-duty trailers and the insulation elements of LNG tankers carrying liquefied natural gas. In industrial applications, the consistent and high quality of the products as well as the reliability and punctuality of deliveries are emphasized. Defective or untimely components cause difficulties in the production of customer companies.
Stora Enso has appointed Johanna Hagelberg Executive Vice President, Biomaterials division. She will continue as a member of the Group Leadership Team (GLT). Johanna Hagelberg joined Stora Enso in 2013 and has been a member of the GLT since 2014 as Head of Sourcing and Logistics. Prior to joining Stora Enso, she held leadership positions at companies including General Motors, NCC and Vattenfall. Johanna holds two M.Sc. degrees in: Management of Manufacturing Systems and Industrial Engineering and Management. The search for a new Head of Sourcing and Logistics has been initiated. In the interim period, Tuomas Mustonen, currently SVP Performance, Controlling and Strategy for Sourcing and Logistics, will assume the acting role in this position. “Biomaterials is a core strategic business for Stora Enso. As we now move into an innovation-driven era for biomaterials, I am delighted to appoint Johanna as head of the division. Her proven leadership skills and experience from various industries, including the automotive industry, will enable us to take this business to the next level. Johanna has the background and ability to accelerate commercialisation of new bio-based products, such as Lignode, lignin-based battery carbon for mobile electrification,” says Stora Enso’s President and CEO Annica Bresky.
The network continues to operate smoothly with the busiest mailing and shipping week fast approaching. Between Nov. 25 and Dec. 8, the Postal Service accepted 4.9 billion mail and packages for delivery. Overall, heading into the busiest mailing and shipping week, average days to deliver a mailpiece was 2.7 days. First quarter-to-date service performance scores covering the period Oct. 1 through Dec. 3 included: *First-Class Mail: 90.1 percent of First-Class Mail delivered on time against the USPS service standard, an improvement of 2.4 percentage points from the fourth quarter. *Marketing Mail: 92.2 percent of Marketing Mail delivered on time against the USPS service standard, consistent with performance from the fourth quarter. *Periodicals: 82.6 percent of Periodicals delivered on time against the USPS service standard, consistent with performance from the fourth quarter.
Koehler Paper now has the opportunity to celebrate an unusual birthday at the end of this year. Production line 2, consisting of paper machine 2 and coating machine 2, was put into operation at the Kehl site at the end of 2001. Paper machine 2 is used exclusively for the production of thermal paper. With a length of 123 meters, the machine is longer than a soccer field. It is also the fastest thermal paper machine in the world, and is known for coupling its speed with astoundingly consistent quality. This all makes it possible to use it to produce more than 1 million checkout rolls a day, with these slips being found everywhere across the world. Paper machine 2 is the reason why Koehler Paper is so successful in the thermal paper market, as it enabled the company to produce lightweight thermal paper with grammages of less than 50 gsm. “Koehler pioneered lightweight thermal paper for POS with grammages of 48 gsm and less – that transformed the market. Truth is, the machine was predestined to make lightweight thermal paper to this very day,” says Willy Früh, Director Thermal Paper Division at Koehler Paper. “When we talk about thermal paper production, you could say we’ve been playing in the Champions League for 20 years now.
R.R. Donnelley & Sons Company announced that it has accepted a proposal from affiliates of Atlas Holdings LLC to increase the price per share of their pending acquisition of RRD to $10.35 per share in cash, and has entered into an amendment to its previously announced definitive merger agreement with affiliates of Atlas, dated as of November 3, 2021. Under the terms of the Amended Agreement, RRD stockholders will receive $10.35 in cash for each share of common stock of the Company that they own, representing a premium of 21.5% over $8.52, the price per share of RRD common stock under the Original Agreement. The revised all-cash transaction is valued at a total enterprise value of approximately $2.2 billion and total equity value of approximately $856 million.
Costco Wholesale Corporation announced its operating results for the first quarter (twelve weeks) of fiscal 2022, ended November 21, 2021. Net sales for the first quarter increased 16.7 percent, to $49.42 billion from $42.35 billion last year. Net income for the quarter was $1,324 million, $2.98 per diluted share, compared to $1,166 million, $2.62 per diluted share, last year. This year included a tax benefit of $91 million, $0.21 per diluted share, related to stock-based compensation, and a write-off of certain information technology assets of $118 million pre-tax, $0.20 per diluted share. Last year included tax benefits of $145 million, $0.33 per diluted share, and incremental expenses for COVID-19 premium wages of $212 million pre-tax, $0.35 per diluted share.
The Postal Regulatory Commission announced today that Michael M. Kubayanda has returned to the agency as chairman. After being re-nominated by President Joseph R. Biden and unanimously confirmed by the U.S. Senate, Chairman Kubayanda was sworn back into office today, December 9, 2021, to serve a term through November 22, 2026. “I am humbled and honored to have the opportunity to continue to work alongside my fellow commissioners and the talented staff of the Commission. The Commission’s work is fundamental at a time of great challenge and opportunity for the Nation’s mail system,” said Chairman Kubayanda. “I would especially like to thank Vice Chairwoman Poling for her exceptional leadership in handling the Commission’s administrative responsibilities during my temporary absence.”
Berry Global Group, Inc. is honored to be named number 35 out of 2,000 public companies on America’s Most Responsible Companies presented by Newsweek and global research firm Statista, Inc. Berry secured the number four spot on the list within its respective industry. The list includes the top 500 most responsible companies in the United States across fourteen industry subcategories. Companies were evaluated on their publicly available performance data for the three areas of ESG (environmental, social, and corporate governance). Within this focus on environmental sustainability leadership, Berry has recently announced the following: *Our goal to achieve 30% circular plastics use by 2030, surpassing our previous goal to use 10% post-consumer recycled (PCR) resin by 2025 *Agreements to secure over 600 million pounds of recycled material, including advanced recycled material from top suppliers (PureCycle, LyondellBasell, Borealis, and Repsol) *Secured ISCC PLUS certification for 39 sites globally *Led through participation in industry organizations like the Alliance to End Plastic Waste and The Recycling Partnership’s Polypropylene Recycling Coalition and the Film & Flexibles Coalition
Highlights: *Increase in revenues and solid profitability in the Packaging and Printing Sectors for the quarter. *Revenues of $775.8 million for the quarter ended October 31, 2021; operating earnings of $80.5 million; and net earnings attributable to shareholders of the Corporation of $39.2 million ($0.45 per share). *Made significant investments in research and development laboratories with state-of-the-art equipment in the state of Wisconsin, to drive growth and innovation and optimize the creation of sustainable solutions for customers. *Acquired H.S. Crocker on November 1, 2021, broadening the packaging solutions portfolio in the food sector as well as expanding pharmaceutical and medical expertise in the advanced coatings product offering. *Retirement of François Olivier on December 9, 2021 and Peter Brues will assume the position of President and Chief Executive Officer on December 10, 2021.
Tseshaht First Nation and Catalyst Paper, a Paper Excellence company, recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding that sets out the intentions of both parties to build a collaborative relationship together. “This document outlines many objectives. None are more important than all of us recognizing and respecting the aboriginal rights of the Tseshaht Nation,” said Walter Tarnowsky, General Manager, Catalyst Port Alberni. “While the signing of this document marks the culmination of a lot of people’s efforts, it truly marks the beginning of a process. We must not look at this process of reconciliation as one of simply understanding and empathizing. It must be a process of genuine change and resolution.” “For Tseshaht it is really important, not just because of the location of the paper mill here, but the history that was once here as a village, as a community, as employment for many of our community members from decades ago until recently. We have members who work here now. It’s a totally interconnected feeling for us, it’s not just about jobs; it’s about sharing history, it’s about sharing culture. It’s about their connection to the Somass River here and how close they are. We’re excited about it,” said Wahmeesh Ken Watts, elected Chief Councillor for Tseshaht First Nation.
UPM Plywood and the Industrial Union have signed a business specific collective labour agreement for UPM Plywood. The new agreement is valid for three years starting from 1.1.2022. The new agreement enables mills to continue production on all weekdays with terms that are satisfactory to both parties. The production output and the employees’ earnings will grow based on the new agreement. In addition, more people will be recruited to the mills. The agreement makes continuous seven-day shift model possible, and this means less working hours compared to the current discontinuous model, and the new agreement allows a shift model that is more employee-friendly. The agreement enables faster reaction to demand peaks thanks to flexible working hours, and it includes mutually agreed terms for production during holidays. Furthermore, a model for temporary work at other UPM Plywood mills was agreed on improving on-the-job learning and development as well as employees’ earnings.
UPM Timber and the Finnish Industrial Union have signed a business-specific collective agreement concerning UPM's sawmill business. The new agreement is valid for three years starting 1 January 2022. Negotiations started in May and the agreement was reached well before the end of the current contract period. UPM Timber's business management, sawmill directors, employee representatives of each sawmill and representatives of the Industrial Union were involved in the negotiations. In this way, the discussions provided diverse points of view and also made it possible to better take into account the wishes of the personnel as well as the special features of UPM's sawmill business.
National Average Price for Regular Unleaded Current: $3.335; Month Ago: $3.417; Year Ago: $2.158. National Average Price for Diesel Current: $3.605; Month Ago: $3.642; Year Ago: $2.457.
American Dollar to Canadian Dollar = 0.787469; American Dollar to Chinese Yuan = 0.157006; American Dollar to Euro = 1.128788; American Dollar to Japanese Yen = 0.008807; American Dollar to Mexican Peso = 0.047790.
Clearwater Paper Corporation announced a key divisional executive appointment. Michael (Mike) Urlick has been named senior vice president and general manager of the consumer products division, effective January 1, 2022. Mr. Urlick succeeds Joanne Shufelt, who will be retiring from the company in 2022. “For the past eight years, Mike has been an integral part of the consumer products business and has developed a deep understanding of our tissue customers and our operations,” said Arsen Kitch, president and chief executive officer. “I look forward to Mike’s continued, valued contributions as a senior leader at Clearwater Paper.” Mr. Kitch continued, “I would like to thank Joanne for her many contributions during her more than nine years of leadership at Clearwater Paper. She continues to make a significant and positive impact on the business, and we are grateful for her support during this transition.”
Moore, a leading constituent experience management (CXM) company, announced the acquisition of Tri-State Envelope, an industry leader specializing in custom envelope manufacturing. With this latest asset purchase, Tri-State Envelope is the fourth envelope manufacturing company Moore has added to its portfolio, along with St. Louis Print Group, Worcester Envelope Company, and its $31 million investment in Richmond Print Group. Based in Ashland, Pennsylvania, with additional manufacturing facilities in Iowa and Maryland, Tri-State Envelope will expand Moore’s supply chain stability through increased capacity, redundancy and location diversification. In its multi-state locations, Tri-State Envelope has the capacity to manufacture 20 million envelopes per day. “Everyone at Tri-State Envelope is very excited about our future as part of Moore,” said Joe O’Donnell, president of Tri-State Envelope. “The envelope manufacturing industry is a critical component in the direct mail business and Tri-State is proud to be on the front lines to provide nonprofits with the materials they need to fundraise for their mission.”
Adobe announced the latest online inflation data for the month of November 2021. Online prices hit a record highat a 3.5%year-over-year (YoY) increase while prices are down 2% month-over-month (MoM) due to holiday discounts. This is the highest YoY increase since Adobe first began tracking the digital economy in 2014, and it marks the 18th consecutive month of YoY online inflation. Apparel was a standout category with prices up 17.3% YoY and down just 0.4% MoM, reaching a record high of inflation. One dollar out of every four dollars* is now spent online in the U.S., making the digital economy a significant component of the overall economy. The Adobe Digital Price Index (DPI) provides the most comprehensive view into how much consumers are paying for goods online. The DPI covers more than 100 million products in the U.S. and is modeled after the Consumer Price Index issued by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Total revenues across all categories for October 2021 were up 23.1% as compared to October 2020, coming in at $1.4 billion. Year to date revenues were up 13.7%, at $13.1 billion for the first ten months of the year. Trade (Consumer Books) sales were up 16.8% in October, coming in at $1.1 billion. Religious press revenues were up 29.4% in October, coming in at $71.3 million. During October of 2021 Education revenues were $284.4 million, up 62.4% compared with October of 2020. Professional Books, including business, medical, law, technical and scientific, were up 5.3% during the month, coming in at $29.5 million.
In November 2021, FSC welcomed these new certificate holders tot he FSC community: Color Craft Graphic Arts Inc. is an all-inclusive folding carton company. Vermont Wide Plank Flooring, LLC is a manufacturer and distributor specializing in wide plank flooring for residential and commercial applications. Pennsylvania Cherry, LLC is a wood supplier in Franklin County, Pennsylvania. Cardbox Packaging Inc. is a multinational producer of collapsible boxes for branded goods and luxury items. Traeger Pellet Grills, LLC is a grill and wood pellet provider. Print Pro, INC is a national wide web flexographic printer. Rex Carton Company Incorporated provides custom box packaging, corrugated shipping containers, corrugated packaging solutions and more. Cranny, LLC is an Amazon Climate Pledge Friendly distributor of various paper products including bags, boxes, and stationary. Rochester Colonial Mfg. Corp is a door distributor. Turner Construction Company is a door distributor. Note that this is only for the Turner Construction Olathe, Kansas door warehouse.
The new ePac digital flexible packaging plant in Melbourne is seeing two HP Indigo 25K digital flexible printing systems go in, with installation by Currie Group. The first ePac production facility in ANZ is eight kilometres from the Melbourne CBD, at the new Newlands Road food manufacturing hub, located in the heart of Coburg’s thriving industrial district. It is being headed up by Jason Brown, formerly group divisional general manager at Ball & Doggett. He said, “Our quick turn-around production time, no setup fees and digitalised process from computer to print allow us to enable small and medium sized brands to achieve higher quality packaging with low minimum orders at optimal prices.” “This strategic collaboration with HP Inc has and will enable us to continue transforming the flexible packaging industry, and ultimately continue to be disruptive in new categories to serve more brands and communities.”
Amcor Flexibles North America continues to forge an innovative path to its 2025 sustainability goal. This time, the stepstone is the combination of critical machinability performance and barrier characteristics for product protection of shelf-stable liquid foods. Amcor’s AmPrima PE Plus heat resistant recycle ready solutions for pouches delivers significant value in multiple ways. It offers: *Pre-qualification of film by How2Recycle® in the U.S for applications that meet the clean and dry requirement *Sealing and spout insertion without distortion due to heat-resistant outer web *Ability to match current run cycles per minute achieved with a non-recyclable oriented polyester laminate *Product quality and flavor preservation with high-barrier properties comparable to AlOx or metallized films *Excellent durability for distribution, including puncture and scuff resistance *A 22% reduction in carbon footprint for AmPrima PE Plus heat resistant pouches compared to a 3ply foil solution even when the used packaging is landfilled. Once recycled the reduction increases to 49%.*Verified by ASSET™ - Amcor’s proprietary lifecycle assessment tool certified by the Carbon Trust
CANPACK Group, one of the world’s largest manufacturers of sustainable packaging, is delighted to announce that starting in 2022 all of its plants across the globe will be powered using 100% renewable electricity where available, and where not available the company will purchase Energy Attribute Certificates or comparable certificates. In doing so, we believe that CANPACK becomes the first global can maker to make such a far-reaching commitment. The company recently signed up to the Science-Based Targets Initiative (SBTi), where climate targets are only considered science-based if they’re in line with what’s needed to prevent the world’s climate from rising above 2°C against pre-industrial levels, and ideally for it not to rise more than 1.5°C. As a result, this latest announcement is a further commitment to CANPACK’s Sustainability Targets, which were announced back in January 2021.
Fourth Quarter Results Include (all results compared to the fourth quarter 2020 unless otherwise noted)(1): *Net income of $104.5 million or $1.74 per diluted Class A share compared to net income of $44.4 million or $0.74 per diluted Class A share. Net income, excluding the impact of adjustments(2), of $115.4 million or $1.93 per diluted Class A share compared to net income, excluding the impact of adjustments, of $46.4 million or $0.78 per diluted Class A share. Adjusted EBITDA(3) increased by $56.8 million to $211.3 million. *Net cash provided by operating activities decreased by $63.1 million to $137.3 million. Adjusted free cash flow(4) decreased by $79.1 million to $94.8 million primarily as a result of inflationary raw material costs. *Total debt decreased by $261.4 million to $2,225.6 million. Net debt(5) decreased by $280.1 million to $2,101.0 million and decreased by $66.8 million sequentially from the third quarter of 2021. The Company's leverage ratio(6) decreased to 2.49x compared to 3.66x, within our targeted leverage ratio range of 2.0x - 2.5x.
Ahlstrom-Munksjö continues to focus on the growth segment of electrification, expanding its latest product offering, totally dedicated to filtration media solutions for electric vehicles. The new solutions for fuel cell electric vehicles complement the products launched earlier in the year for all electric vehicles, including filtration solutions for cabin air, transmission and cooling systems. Ahlstrom-Munksjö understands the market challenges and is developing new commercial solutions to address unmet customer needs for high performance filtration materials for electric vehicles. This now includes a new dedicated filtration solution for fuel cell air intake. “I am very pleased to introduce our new filtration solution for fuel cell air intake,” said Cedric Vallet, Head of Business Development, Industrial Filtration & New Vehicles. “By protecting fuel cells from harmful gases and particulates, we ensure the effective operation of the fuel cell over the entire service lifetime of the vehicle.”
Resolute Forest Products Inc. announced that its board of directors authorized the repurchase of up to $100 million or 10 million of the company's common shares, whichever occurs first. Repurchase transactions will be funded using the company's sources of liquidity. "Today's announcement follows recent completion of the share repurchase program announced in March 2020, under which we repurchased 11.5 million shares for $78.3 million, representing 15% of the outstanding shares," said Remi G. Lalonde, president and chief executive officer. "This new program will allow us to continue to act opportunistically to return capital to shareholders when conditions are right. We remain committed to a balanced approach to capital allocation, using our free cash flow to generate value for shareholders, build a stronger company and drive sustainable economic activity in the communities where we operate."
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Learning technology company HMH announced that the South Carolina Department of Education (SCDE) has approved HMH Into Reading™ as a curriculum option for the K-5 Palmetto Literacy Project (PLP) Schools. The K–5 Palmetto Literacy Project schools are a group of 265 schools across the state with a special focus on ensuring all students are reading on grade level. PLP schools will have the ability to purchase the recommended literacy programs using Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) funds to implement in 2022. The PLP review committee found that Into Reading is grounded in science of reading research and shows strong alignment to the five essential science of reading concepts, including phonemic awareness, phonics, fluency, vocabulary and comprehension. The review also showed that Into Reading’s instructional design aligns with Scarborough’s Reading Rope and has explicit, research-based foundational skills instruction that integrate listening, speaking, reading and writing.
Tetra Pak has been recognised for leadership in corporate sustainability by global environmental non-profit CDP, securing a place on its prestigious ‘A List’ for the third year running for tackling climate change, as well as acting to protect forests – two of the three environmental themes covered by CDP. With this accolade, Tetra Pak cements its position as the only company in the carton packaging sector to be included in the CDP leadership band for six years in a row. CDP’s annual environmental disclosure and scoring process is widely recognised as the gold standard of corporate environmental transparency. In 2021, over 590 investors with over US$110 trillion in assets and 200 major purchasers with US$5.5 trillion in procurement spend requested companies to disclose data on environmental impacts, risks and opportunities through CDP’s platform. A record-breaking 13,000+ companies responded.
Wynnchurch Capital, L.P. announced that it has acquired the thermal coating business assets of Appvion Holding Corp. and its subsidiaries. Founded in 1907 and headquartered in Appleton, Wisconsin, Appvion is a leading provider of specialty and high-performance direct thermal coatings for label and film solutions as well as renewable, fiber-based consumer and industrial packaging solutions. “Since our inception, we have built strong and long-lasting relationships with our customers by offering premium and innovative products, technical expertise and unparalleled service. Wynnchurch shares our values of safety, integrity, honesty and putting the customers first to deliver value. We are excited to partner with them to pursue our next phase of growth,” said George Wurtz, CEO of Appvion.
The investment is a further step in Holmen's strategy to grow the wood products business and contribute to the green transition. This will increase the production at Iggesund Sawmill by 20 per cent as well as adding construction timber on top of its joinery products range. "We grow houses. To develop the wood products business is a natural extension of forestry and an important dimension in Holmen’s strategy of owning and adding value to the forest. Following the acquisition of Martinsons and the expansion of Braviken, the investment in Iggesund Sawmill is the next step in strengthening our position in wood products,” says Henrik Sjölund, Holmen’s President and CEO. The investment will enable the sawmill to switch from lower grade joinery spruce to construction timber in both spruce and pine. This will increase the value added and improve the market mix by increasing the share sold to Scandinavian builders’ merchants.
Sappi Limited continues to reach new milestones by completing the Higg Facility Environmental Management (FEM) verification audit at its Cloquet Mill. Based in Northern Minnesota (United States), the mill is one of the first dissolving pulp facilities to complete this external verification process. A final score of greater than 80% was achieved which is an endorsement of sound environmental practices employed by the mill. Supporting the call to accelerate transparency in the textile and apparel sector, a detailed performance report will be made available to all key stakeholders on request. Developed by the SAC, the Higg FEM is part of a suite of tools that enables manufacturing facilities of all sizes to measure and score their environmental performance against a standard set of criteria, allowing for meaningful and credible performance benchmarking in the apparel and textile sector. Across topics such as water use, carbon emissions and labour conditions, consumer goods brands, retailers, manufacturers, governments, NGOs and consumers can use the Higg Index to inform their individual sustainability strategies and drive collective industry transformation.
The book you ordered online has arrived and now you want to recycle the cardboard box. You take it to local recycling point, but who is actually responsible for organising the recycling facilities and operations? Many people assume that the local municipals are responsible, but in most cases it is actually the company which produced the product. This is called producer responsibility. “It is common to see producer responsibility for tyres, batteries, consumer electronics and packages,” says Teemu Virtanen, Senior Advisor at Pirkanmaa ELY-Centre. “The companies that produce or import the items are responsible for financing and organising waste management. In practice, companies can’t do it alone, so they use producer organisations.” UPM is committed to supporting the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals and has identified the goals and respective targets where it can have the biggest positive impact through its operations, products, and solutions, or where it aims to minimise any negative impact. The company considers producer responsibility to be part of the SDG 12, with Responsible consumption and production, that being one of the six chosen UPM´s focus goals. The practicalities of producer responsibility can vary from country to country, so UPM is active in each local system. For example, in Finland UPM is a customer of the Finnish Packaging Recycling organisation RINKI.
Metsä Board, part of Metsä Group, has been recognised for leadership in corporate sustainability by global environmental non-profit CDP, securing a place on its prestigious ‘A List’ for tackling climate change as well as acting to protect water security and forests – all three environmental themes covered by CDP. Metsä Board is one of only 14 companies that achieved a triple ‘A’, out of nearly 12,000 companies that were scored based on data submitted through CDP’s questionnaires in 2021. Metsä Board’s mission is to create packaging solutions that respect nature. The fresh fibre raw materials that come from sustainably managed Northern European forests, resource efficient production and the low carbon footprint of lightweight paperboards provide a solid foundation for responsible operations. “Sustainability is a prerequisite of a profitable business. It is also important for our customers and other stakeholders that the cooperation with Metsä Board is built on a responsible foundation. We have ambitious sustainability targets including 100% fossil free mills and raw materials by the end of 2030. These ‘A List’ positions are a recognition of our systematic work to achieve these goals," says Mika Joukio, CEO of Metsä Board.
*Research Publishing & Platforms rose 9% as reported and at constant currency and 4% excluding acquisitions, driven by strong growth in open access, corporate solutions, and research platforms. *Academic & Professional Learning grew 4% as reported and 3% at constant currency, driven by strong recovery in Professional Learning from prior-year COVID lockdown impacts. This more than offset a decline in Education Publishing due to softer US enrollment and some easing of prior-year COVID-related tailwinds in content and courseware. *Education Services increased 17% as reported and 15% at constant currency, driven by 3% growth in University Services (formerly OPM) and strong double-digit growth in Talent Development (formerly mthree). *GAAP EPS was $0.99 as compared to $1.22 in the prior year period, which included a $0.25 discrete tax benefit related to the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES ACT).
We are extraordinarily proud to announce that Atlantic Printing & Graphics in Tabor City, NC has been officially certified as a Zero Waste facility. This status is verified by Green Business Certification Inc. (GBCI) through their TRUE Zero Waste Certification Program. Atlantic Printing & Graphics achieved this by diverting more than 90% of its waste from the landfill for the most recent 12 months at the time of certification. We are also proud to be the first packaging company to achieve a Zero Waste Certification through the TRUE Program at GBCI. It’s inspiring and incredibly motivating to set this standard and chart the path for ourselves and for the entire packaging supply chain.
GreenFirst Forest Products Inc. is pleased to announce Barbara Anie, David Chartrand, and W. Sean Willy have been elected to the GreenFirst Board of Directors at its Annual General Meeting (“AGM”) on December 2, 2021. Directors, Hassan Raza Baqar, Richard E Govignon, and Andrew McIntyre did not stand for re-election. Paul Rivett, Rick Doman, William G. Harvey, Michael Mitchell, Marty Proctor, and Larry G. Swets Jrwere re-elected at the meeting. “We are honoured to welcome Barbara Anie, David Chartrand and W. Sean Willy to our Board. At this exciting time for GreenFirst, their significant corporate governance expertise and business acumen will contribute to the strategic growth of the Company.” said Paul Rivett, Chairman. ” We would also like to express my appreciation to Hassan Raza Baqar, Richard E Govignon, and Andrew McIntyre for their valuable advice and counsel to the Company.
Rayonier Advanced Materials Inc. announced that its Board of Directors elected Vito J. Consiglio to succeed Paul G. Boynton as President and Chief Executive Officer and Board member effective January 1, 2022. Mr. Boynton, who has served as President and CEO since the Company’s spin-off in 2014, announced his decision to retire from the Company, and, as part of the leadership transition, he will assume the role of Vice Chair of the Board until the May 2022 Annual Meeting. “In 2021, the Board of Directors commenced an extensive and well-planned search for a CEO candidate with the expertise and ability to effectively capitalize on the Company’s tremendous growth potential,” said Lisa Palumbo, Chair of the Board’s Nominating and Corporate Governance Committee. “With his broad commercial expertise and operational acumen, Vito has a proven track record of driving strategic growth in the specialty materials sector. Given his strengths in areas of critical importance to RYAM, including strategy deployment, technical sales and innovation, we believe Vito is the ideal CEO to lead RYAM into its next chapter of growth and success.”
International technology group ANDRITZ has successfully started up one of the two PrimeLineTM W 2000 tissue machines delivered to Guangxi Sun Paper, China, for its mill in Beihai City, Guangxi Province. The second tissue machine (TM6) is expected to be started up by the end of this year. The tissue machine (TM5) has a design speed of 2,000 m/min, a working width of 5.65 m, and a capacity of 60,000 t/a. To enable energy-efficient production, it is equipped with a large suction press roll, an 18 ft. PrimeDry Steel Yankee with head insulation, and a re-evaporation system. For optimum end-product quality, forming fabrics and press felts by ANDRITZ Fabrics and Rolls were installed.
Canfor Pulp Products Inc. is announcing temporary NBSK and BCTMP production reductions at Northwood Pulp and Taylor Pulp in response to the significant transportation interruptions being experienced in British Columbia (BC). The Company’s pulp shipments have declined as a result of the recent weather-related transportation disruptions. With pulp mill inventories nearing capacity, the Company’s pulp production will be reduced until such time as the BC transportation network is able to return to more-normal operating conditions. This will result in reduced production achieved through a minimum two-week curtailment of Canfor’s NBSK production at Northwood Pulp and a minimum four-week curtailment of the production of BCTMP at Taylor Pulp. “As a result of the extreme rainfall and flooding that BC has been experiencing in recent weeks, the rail and highway networks have been substantially impacted. Our employees have worked very hard to mitigate the impacts of the supply chain challenges and it has now become critical to reduce production to manage inventory levels and ensure employee safety until the transportation network returns to more normal operations,” said Canfor Pulp’s Chief Executive Officer, Don Kayne.
Global packaging and paper leader Mondi has been recognised by CDP with a prestigious Triple A score for the second year in a row. Of the nearly 12,000 organisations rated, Mondi is one of only 14 worldwide to achieve a Triple A score for its sustainability performance on climate, forests and water security. "Our purpose is to contribute to a better world by making packaging and paper sustainable by design. Achieving another ‘Triple A’ score from CDP is a testament to our continued efforts in leading the way on sustainability and reporting transparently on our progress. This rating acknowledges our clear ambitions and best-practice approach to taking action on climate, protecting forests and safeguarding water resources in line with our MAP2030 sustainability framework." Gladys Naylor, Group Head of Sustainable Development at Mondi
Kellogg’s, in partnership with Tesco, have announced that it will trial paper liners within cereal boxes in a select number of stores from January 2022. According to the company, the plastic inner liner in cereal boxes is not currently widely accepted in kerbside recycling. The new paper liner is reportedly recyclable and will make Kellogg’s entire cereal packaging paper-based, as the cereal’s outer card packaging is already fully recyclable. The new packaging, developed by Kellogg’s packaging technologists, is apparently suitable for the process of filling and sealing bags inside of cereal boxes that takes place at the company’s factory, as well as for transporting the cereal to retailers.
First quarter-to-date service performance scores covering the period Oct. 1 through Nov. 26 included: *First-Class Mail: 91.1 percent of First-Class Mail delivered on time against the USPS service standard, an improvement of 2.6 percentage points from the fourth quarter. *Marketing Mail: 92.4 percent of Marketing Mail delivered on time against the USPS service standard, consistent with performance from the fourth quarter. *Periodicals: 83.4 percent of Periodicals delivered on time against the USPS service standard, an improvement of .6 percentage points from the fourth quarter. The Postal Service anticipates that between 850 million and 950 million packages will be delivered for the holidays. The total number of letters, cards and packages processed and delivered between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day is estimated to be more than 12 billion.
The PEFC product categories are a key element in the implementation of the PEFC chain of custody by certified organisations and certification bodies. The revised list of PEFC product categories, as approved by the Chain of Custody Working Group on 15 October 2021, is now available. The PEFC product categories define the PEFC product groups to which the chain of custody is applied and the scope of the chain of custody certificate. When checking the validity of a PEFC claim on a PEFC certified product, companies use the PEFC database to ensure the product is under the scope of their certified supplier. Additionally, the categories serve as a tool for the promotion of certified products, with the list of product categories covered by a certified organisation available on the PEFC International website.
Worzalla, an employee-owned book printer specializing in printing high-quality children’s books, movie tie-in books and cookbooks, raised over $50,000 for the United Way of Portage County’s Live United, Give United campaign. Money raised for the campaign will go to United Way programs that help Portage County families in need. “Worzalla associates are good neighbors and are consistently inspired to support the community. Once again, our associates came together to raise funds for the United Way of Portage County,” said Brett O’Sullivan, Worzalla’s United Way Campaign Coordinator. “With a mission of bringing people and resources together to achieve measurable results that improve people’s lives and strengthen our community, the United Way continues to support the new and ongoing challenges the less fortunate face.” To inspire associates to support the campaign, Worzalla ran a giveaway for various prizes like paid time-off, premier parking spots, gift cards, fun prizes, and entry into the Portage County Sweepstakes. Among the nearly 20 winners were Joe Omernik, Diane Landowski and the grand prize winner was Brian Deuel.
We’re delighted to welcome Shawn Crandall to the KNA Team! Shawn brings to Kernow a wealth of knowledge with 30+ years’ experience in the Wide Format industry. Shawn has owned a wide format supply company, sold large format printing devices for Canon, and has been a corporate specification manager at Avery Dennison Graphics Solutions. He was also Applications Engineer, Product Manager and a Sales Manager for HP Large Format. He has also been a graphics production manager and owned a signage and graphics company in San Jose, California. We’re confident that the addition of Shawn will help to meet our customers goals in Wide Format products applications and complete value-added solutions.
A new survey commissioned by Stora Enso on post-pandemic work and printing habits polled 3,400 workplace consumers across Sweden, UK, France, Netherlands, and Germany, on how they feel about printing and what they want from their office paper. The survey delivered some surprising insights, and some not so surprising. During 2020 and early 2021, the pandemic-driven shift to stay-at-home work naturally brought a dip in demand for office paper, with people on average printing 32 per cent more at the office than at home. Now with the economic recovery – 35 per cent of respondents having already returned to their office and a further 51 per cent expecting to return soon – the good news for the industry is that back to the office will also mean back to print. Stora Enso’s Jonathan Bakewell, VP, Head of Segment Office and Book Papers, says: “This increase in printer paper demand, marked by a return to the office, has been hoped for, but these results reaffirm it.”
For the Third Quarter of Fiscal 2021: *Net sales increased 28.6% to $2.0 billion compared to $1.6 billion in the third quarter of fiscal 2020 due to the favorable impact from stronger consumer confidence and fewer COVID-19 restrictions compared to the third quarter of fiscal 2020. *Comparable sales (sales for stores open at least 14 months, including stores temporarily closed due to COVID-19, and e-commerce sales) increased 25.8%. *Gross profit increased to $789.5 million compared to $545.5 million in the third quarter of fiscal 2020. *Operating income increased to $284.2 million, or 14.2% of net sales, compared to $101.3 million, or 6.5% of net sales, in the third quarter of fiscal 2020.
*Total net sales were $206.1 million, an increase of $65.8 million or 46.9%, compared to $140.3 million last year. -Net sales from physical stores were $165.3 million, an increase of $60.7 million or 58.1%, compared to $104.6 million last year. -Net sales from e-commerce were $40.8 million, an increase of $5.1 million or 14.3%, compared to $35.7 million last year. E-commerce net sales represented 19.8% of total net sales compared to 25.5% of total net sales last year. -Total comparable net sales for the third quarter of fiscal 2021 compared to the pre-pandemic third quarter of fiscal 2019 increased by 27.4%. *Gross profit was $76.7 million, or 37.2% of net sales, a record in the Company's history as a public company, compared to $40.7 million, or 29.0% of net sales, last year. *Operating income improved to $29.0 million, or 14.1% of net sales, compared to $3.5 million, or 2.5% of net sales, primarily due to the significant increase in net sales. *Net income improved to $20.8 million, or $0.66 per diluted share, which are third quarter records for the Company as a public company, compared to $2.1 million, or $0.07 per diluted share, last year.
A three-year strategic roadmap to promote fashion supply chain sustainability and responsible procurement was launched in Singapore on 30 November between the Textile and Fashion Federation (TaFF) and PEFC International. This partnership will drive greater awareness among TaFF members, partners, and stakeholders of the importance of legal and sustainable sourcing of materials, like fibre from the forests but also its packaging and natural rubber used in the sector. Fashion supply chain sustainability and responsible procurement are critical to make sure that we all benefit from the many products that forests provide now while ensuring these forests will be around for generations to come.
Sonoco-Alcore announced that due to continued inflationary pressure on the business, it will raise prices by 10 percent on all tube and core grades sold in the Company’s EMEA regions. The increase will be effective for all shipments made on or after the 13th December 2021. “We continue to experience further cost increases in all sectors of our operations and supply chain. Even with a strong focus on implementing productivity initiatives, they are not enough to offset inflationary pressures from energy, packaging, transportation, adhesives and raw materials. As such, we are forced to pass on cost increases to the market,” said Karsten Kemmerling, Division VP - Sales & Marketing EMEA.
OpenGate Capital portfolio company, Duraco Specialty Tapes (“Duraco” or “Company”), a leading manufacturer of pressure-sensitive tapes and specialty materials, announced today that it has acquired 3 Sigma, a custom solution provider of pressure-sensitive products and specialty coatings from Brixey & Meyer Capital. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed. 3 Sigma has an established track record of providing unique, high-quality custom solutions to customers in high-growth health and beauty, flexible packaging, food and beverage, and medical end markets. The add-on acquisition of 3 Sigma significantly broadens Duraco’s technical toolbox and manufacturing capabilities to better serve customers with a more expansive and diverse set of custom formulated products and high value manufactured solutions.
Mossberg & Company Inc., a fixture in the region’s printing industry since 1930, has bolstered its capabilities with the recent installation of a Heidelberg XL-106 8-color press. The 41-inch perfecting press, which increases the number of impressions per hour by 3,000, replaces two of Mossberg’s presses while increasing productivity and reducing overall setup time. It also frees up space in Mossberg’s manufacturing facility, allowing for future technological advances. Mossberg has served the printing, distribution and marketing needs of customers from an array of industries, including health care, consumer products, higher education, retail, tourism and craft beverages. The company employs approximately 110 professionals and has sales representation in South Bend, Indianapolis and Michigan.
ND Packaging has officially opened its 350,000 Sq. Ft. corrugated packaging plant in southeastern Wisconsin. At full operation, this new facility will add more than 80 full-time job to the region. Today marks the beginning of a new a new and experience-backed venture into the growing packaging industry. The company is excited to bring jobs to the community and add growth to import Wisconsin business sector. Furthermore, ND Packaging is thrilled to start producing high-quality corrugated sheets and containers and provide exceptional solutions for customers in the Chicagoland and greater Wisconsin marketplace. “While it has certainly been an endeavor, essentially starting from scratch has its distinct advantages,” said Ken Liu, CEO of ND Packaging and its affiliate ND Paper who, along with and a dedicated team of hard working and talented professionals, including Jon Hospodar, the new General Manager of the Sturtevant facility, has spearheaded this initiative. “We acquired the space and have been filling it with the right equipment and the right people to provide a value-added solution for our customers,” Mr. Liu continued.
National Average Price for Regular Unleaded Current: $3.370; Month Ago: $3.403; Year Ago: $2.164. National Average Price for Diesel Current: $3.627; Month Ago: $3.636; Year Ago: $2.438.
American Dollar to Canadian Dollar = 0.779947; American Dollar to Chinese Yuan = 0.156954; American Dollar to Euro = 1.131203; American Dollar to Japanese Yen = 0.008823; American Dollar to Mexican Peso = 0.047055.
A plastic-reducing alternative to potato packaging has been introduced by Finnish Tuorekartano Oy when it recently launched its special potatoes in paperboard packaging. Tuorekartano Oy's premium quality La Ratte potatoes will now be packed in easily recyclable and biodegradable packaging made of a lightweight and durable paperboard produced by Metsä Board, part of Metsä Group. The paperboard is ideally suited to protect the potatoes from damage and sunlight. The small package size will also help to reduce food waste. "Tuorekartano is a company committed to Agenda 2030 and Commitment 2050 and has set itself clear sustainability targets. Plastic-free packaging, such as La Ratte cartons, is part of these goals. We have already reduced the amount of plastic in our packaging materials by 25%," says Kari Kastari, CEO of Tuorekartano Oy. The packaging is made of lightweight MetsäBoard Prime FBB EB paperboard, which is made from pure fresh fibres and is suitable for direct contact with food. The dispersion coating of the board improves the moisture and grease resistance of the board, and the packaging can be easily recycled and is also suitable for home composting.
R.R. Donnelley & Sons Company announced that its Board of Directors unanimously determined that an unsolicited proposal from Chatham Asset Management, LLC to acquire all of the common stock of the Company not already owned by Chatham and its affiliates for $10.25 per share in cash (the “Chatham Proposal”) constitutes a “Superior Proposal” as defined in the Company’s previously announced definitive merger agreement with affiliates of Atlas Holdings LLC, dated as of November 3, 2021. Under the terms of the Atlas Merger Agreement, affiliates of Atlas have agreed to acquire the Company for $8.52 per share in cash. RRD has notified Atlas of the Board’s determination that the Chatham Proposal constitutes a Superior Proposal and that RRD intends to terminate the Atlas Merger Agreement for the purpose of entering into a definitive merger agreement with affiliates of Chatham.
Blackstone announced that funds managed by its Blackstone Tactical Opportunities business have acquired Sustana Group, a leading manufacturer of premium, sustainable recycled fiber, paper and packaging products, from an affiliate of H.I.G. Capital (“H.I.G.”). Headquartered in De Pere, Wisconsin, Sustana uses post-consumer materials and the high standards for environmental sustainability to produce a comprehensive suite of recycled fiber, paper and packaging solutions for customers throughout North America. It services a diversified customer base through four facilities, all of which have leading energy efficiency, water conservation systems, wastewater treatment technology and recycling of process by-products.
Costco Wholesale Corporation reported net sales of $18.13 billion for the retail month of November, the four weeks ended November 28, 2021, an increase of 15.7 percent from $15.67 billion last year. For the twelve-week first quarter ended November 21, 2021, the Company reported net sales of $49.42 billion, an increase of 16.7 percent from $42.35 billion last year. For the thirteen weeks ended November 28, 2021, the Company reported net sales of $54.10 billion, an increase of 16.8 percent from $46.33 billion last year.
IAC company Dotdash announced the completion of its acquisition of Meredith Holdings Corp., owner of world-class brands such as PEOPLE, Better Homes & Gardens, FOOD & WINE, Allrecipes, Southern Living, InStyle and REAL SIMPLE, in an all cash transaction at a purchase price of $42.18 per share. The new Dotdash Meredith combines celebrated and iconic brands with digital DNA to create America’s largest digital and print publisher—a top 10 internet property able to deliver intent-driven content and experiences at scale. The company, headquartered in New York City and led by CEO Neil Vogel, will be its own reporting segment within IAC. “Today marks the start of a big new opportunity at IAC—conceived by the ambitious minds of Neil Vogel and the Dotdash team and made possible in collaboration with our talented new colleagues from Meredith—to define a new future in publishing,” said Joey Levin, CEO of IAC. “Dotdash Meredith has a bright future ahead.”
The Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI) and the National Council for Air and Stream Improvement, Inc. (NCASI) announced the launch of the SFI-NCASI Carbon and Water Tools today. These science-based tools will help increase understanding of how SFI-certified forests can be used as nature-based solutions to help mitigate climate change and ensure water conservation. These new measurement tools help quantify the contributions of the 370 million acres/150 million hectares of forestland certified to the SFI Forest Management Standard in addressing climate change and meeting the water needs of both society and ecological systems. “We know the carbon in SFI-certified forests make them essential to reducing the impacts of climate change. However, quantifying the carbon values associated with SFI-certified forests can be challenging. These new tools will inform scientists in ways that will advance the already significant impact of forests toward mitigating climate change and providing for our water needs,” said Paul Trianosky, SFI’s Chief Conservation Officer.
Amcor announced the opening of its greenfield packaging facility in Tuas, Singapore. The dedicated healthcare packaging facility will address a current and future market need, as demand for healthcare packaging is rapidly increasing across the region. Amcor’s new Tuas facility comprises cleanroom manufacturing environments, capability in three-, seven- and nine-layer co-extrusion blown film, and state-of-the-art flexographic printing. It is also fully certified to ISO 13485, ensuring the ability to fully satisfy industry regulatory requirements.
Studies show that single use paper-based packaging has lower carbon and freshwater impacts than reusable systems because of the energy and water needed to wash and dry foodservice tableware. “We should stop the guessing game when we look at environmentally viable solutions, and we should trust the science and work together to make our economies circular,” says Eric Le Lay, President Fiber Foodservice Europe-Asia-Oceania at Huhtamaki, and President of the European Paper Packaging Alliance (EPPA). Commissioned by the EPPA, the Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) found that contrary to widely held perceptions, reusable tableware has a significantly higher environmental impact than paper-based single-use systems in areas which crucially impact climate change.
Smurfit Kappa has completed a two-phase upgrade of its facilities at the Barranquilla Paper Mill in Colombia. The 7.5 million USD investment saw the implementation of a Wastewater Treatment Plant (WWTP) with state-of-the-art anaerobic technology, which reduces water intake from the nearby Magdalena River and improves the quality of water returned to it. The investment is a further example of Smurfit Kappa’s ongoing commitment to good water stewardship through using water sustainably and supporting natural water ecosystems. The upgraded facilities allow the Barranquilla site, which produces containerboard from 100% recycled materials, to contribute towards Smurfit Kappa’s ambitious sustainability targets that were expanded in January 2021.
Paper Excellence announced the indefinite curtailment of operations at its Catalyst Paper tiskwat mill. The ongoing contraction of global paper markets and paper prices, particularly in Asia, are creating significant on-going financial losses at the mill. Despite the best efforts of the mill’s committed team of employees, the facility is simply not viable under the reality of today’s market conditions. Paper Excellence is engaged with our governments and potential partners investigating promising new opportunities that would take advantage of the facility’s unique access to deep water, natural gas, electricity, and water supplies, as well as its existing biomass boiler with power generating capacity, wastewater treatment and solid waste disposal infrastructure. It is Paper Excellence’s long-term goal that the site continues to provide meaningful employment and economic activity in Powell River.
ANDRITZ’s delivery for the hardwood Fiberline capacity increase for the Puma I line includes modernization of the cooking, washing, screening and bleaching processes, which will increase the capacity from 3,742 adt/d to 4,080 adt/d. The order also includes a new ANDRITZ DD-WasherTM (drum displacer washer), which will ensure production of high-quality pulp, maximum operating time, and low chemical consumption, thus minimizing the environmental impact. The DD-Washer supplied to Klabin will be the 400th such washer to be sold worldwide. Pablo Cadaval, General Mill Manager of Klabin – Puma Unit, says: "We selected our reliable partner ANDRITZ to supply a new DD-Washer, a washer whose capabilities are already very familiar to us, especially its flexibility for higher production rates and low chemical consumption in bleaching.”
Mondi has opened a new ISTA-certified laboratory at Mondi Bupak in České Budějovice (CZ), which is one of its Central European corrugated solutions flagship plants and a hub for development and production of eCommerce packaging. The laboratory offers various transport performance tests, including ISTA 6 certification testing for packaging. In addition, Mondi’s laboratory is an approved member of the Amazon Packaging Support and Supplier Network (APASS) and hence a partner of choice for testing Amazon’s Tier 1-3 compliant packaging (FFP, SIOC and PFP)(1), which is a market standard of the online retailer for reducing packaging volume in eCommerce logistics.
Sustainable Development Technology Canada (SDTC) has awarded Red Leaf Pulp Ltd. $3.8 Million to commercialize an innovative and game-changing pulping technology using wheat straw and other sustainable agricultural resources along with wood-based pulp in traditional applications. With its technology, Red Leaf will enhance utilization of existing agricultural resources, support the agriculture industry, and lower the carbon intensity associated with producing paper and packaging materials. As demand for paper products rises due to the shift away from plastic and polystyrene use, Red Leaf’s technology offers a sustainable alternative to responding to this demand by using a fibre source that does not contribute to deforestation. This funding will also assist in co-product commercialization efforts that will potentially allow Red Leaf’s facility to become planet positive.