R.R. Donnelley & Sons Company announced the receipt of an update to the unsolicited non-binding “Alternative Acquisition Proposal”, received from the strategic party (the “Strategic Party,” and such update to the proposal, the “Updated Strategic Party Proposal”) on December 27, 2021. On January 3, 2022, the Strategic Party had indicated to RRD that it was targeting January 21, 2022 for a submission of a binding proposal. In lieu of submitting a binding proposal, the Strategic Party delivered the non-binding Updated Strategic Party Proposal, which provides for the following, among other terms and conditions: *Value: Increases the offered price to $11.50 per share in cash. Previously, the offered price by the Strategic Party was $11.00 per share in cash. *Due Diligence: States that the Strategic Party has substantially completed its financial, legal, tax and other due diligence on RRD and its business. *Committed Financing and Timing: Does not include committed debt and equity financing and states that the Strategic Party requires an additional three weeks to obtain committed financing (February 8, 2022). *Chatham-Related Covenants: Removes the previously included conditions to the execution of the proposed Strategic Party merger agreement that required Chatham to release and dismiss Chatham’s litigation and claims made against RRD, and to vote its shares of RRD common stock to approve the Strategic Party merger agreement. *Non-Binding and Conditional: The Updated Strategic Party Proposal remains non-binding and subject to certain terms and conditions.
Neenah, a leading global manufacturer of specialty materials, is announcing that it has joined the Soteria Battery Innovation Group (BIG), a consortium of 100+ companies representing different developers and users across the lithium-ion battery ecosystem. The consortium is committed to using new technology to bring safer batteries to the market, which aligns directly with Neenah's passion for innovation and the company's emphasis on safety. Lithium-ion batteries continue to dominate the battery market, with projected growth from $41B in sales in 2021 to over $110B by 2030. Neenah will utilize its significant expertise in nonwovens to pursue fiber-based separator applications that can meet users' short and long-term needs.
Mactac®, a LINTEC Company, announces it has entered into an agreement to purchase the assets of Spinnaker Coating, LLC, representing $130 million of specialty revenue at a price of $40 million. The acquisition is expected to close on Feb. 1, 2022, and consists of Spinnaker’s manufacturing facility and headquarters based in Troy, Ohio, and North American distribution centers located in Atlanta, Georgia; Chicago, Illinois; Los Angeles, California; and, Vails Gate, New York. Spinnaker will operate as a standalone subsidiary of Mactac. As part of LINTEC, Mactac is one of the largest, most diversified global pressure-sensitive adhesive (PSA) suppliers. Mactac’s acquisition of Spinnaker, which specializes in the customized production and distribution of pressure-sensitive roll label and sheet base materials in North America, creates a one-of-a-kind, world-class specialty labeling company.
Verso Corporation announced the filing of a preliminary proxy statement for a special meeting of stockholders, at which Verso stockholders will consider and vote upon various items related to the proposed and previously announced transaction with BillerudKorsnäs AB. If approved, all Verso stockholders will receive $27.00 per share in cash upon closing of the transaction, representing immediate and certain value at a significant premium. The preliminary proxy statement provides detailed disclosure regarding, among other things, the robust process overseen by the Special Committee, the Special Committee's consideration of indications of value, the fairness opinion received from Rothschild & Co., its financial advisor, regarding the merger consideration and the analysis underlying that opinion, the Special Committee's efforts to seek the best price reasonably available for stockholders, and the Board and the Special Committee's rationale for accepting BillerudKorsnäs' offer as being in the best interests of stockholders.
From Jan. 1 through Jan. 14, the average time to deliver a mailpiece across the postal network was 2.7 days. Second quarter service performance scores covering the period Jan.1 through Jan. 14 included: *First-Class Mail: 86.6 percent of First-Class Mail delivered on time against the USPS service standard, a decrease of 3 percentage points from the first quarter. *Marketing Mail: 91.7 percent of Marketing Mail delivered on time against the USPS service standard, consistent with performance from the first quarter. *Periodicals: 80.8 percent of Periodicals delivered on time against the USPS service standard, consistent with performance from the first quarter.
PolkaLite is a recyclable* snap top closure that weighs 8.4g and utilizes 1.3g less plastic than the original Polka solution. This new closure, made of polypropylene, fits bottles with a 38-400 neck finish and a 55mm outer diameter, one of the most common neck finishes for sauces and condiments. And thanks to its large 9.7mm orifice and valve, PolkaLite can be utilized in a wide range of food products, even those with chunks or a high viscosity level such as honey, salad dressing, and more.
Pregis recently named Jon T. McClure, president of its new $80 million blown film extrusion operation in Anderson, South Carolina. McClure brings more than 40 years of blown film operational excellence to Pregis. In 1997, he founded South Carolina-based ISO Poly Films, Inc., and served as the company’s chief executive officer until the company was sold in 2014. Under his leadership, ISO Poly Films became a leader in custom film production with two state-of-the-art manufacturing facilities and 160 employees, generating $115 million in sales.
Pledges toward net zero emissions have become common as global companies and industries look to address concerns about climate change. Domtar, too, is doing our part to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and develop a path toward becoming a net zero emitter by 2050. We have been tracking and working to reduce greenhouse gas emissions for more than a decade. By the end of 2020, we recorded a 27 percent reduction in total direct greenhouse gas emissions and indirect emissions from purchased energy at our pulp and paper mills since 2010. Our work to reduce our carbon footprint has also led to significant reductions in our emissions to air of nitrogen oxides, sulfur dioxide, total reduced sulfur and particulate matter.
National Average Price for Regular Unleaded Current: $3.326; Month Ago: $3.302; Year Ago: $2.396. National Average Price for Diesel Current: $3.653; Month Ago: $3.584; Year Ago: $2.634.
American Dollar to Canadian Dollar = 0.798801; American Dollar to Chinese Yuan = 0.157767; American Dollar to Euro = 1.134769; American Dollar to Japanese Yen = 0.008787; American Dollar to Mexican Peso = 0.048892.
The recent United Nations global climate summit in Glasgow, Scotland, brought the world’s leaders together again to try to reach agreement on further commitments to reducing greenhouse gas emissions. High on the agenda was preserving the health of the world’s forests – a critical natural resource for absorbing these emissions. With this heightened international attention on preventing deforestation, primarily in the developing world, now is a good time to remind ourselves that the North American forests that supply the wood fiber for our paper and packaging products are among the most sustainably managed in the world. They are so well-managed, in fact, that our forests continue to be a net absorber of carbon. In the United States, sustainable forest management practices, the regeneration of forest area and modern harvesting practices resulted in a net sequestration of carbon every year from 1990 to 2019, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
The Great Lakes Graphics Association is now accepting nominations for the Second Annual Women in Print Excellence Award. This sought after female-specific award supports our ongoing quest to recognize the contributions of women in the Midwest print, graphic arts, finishing and print packaging community as well as those women who support the print industry in a vendor or supplier capacity. Eligibility : Any woman working directly in print or in a vendor role supporting print who is in good standing with her company in the states of Illinois, Indiana or Wisconsin. Any level or title of employee is eligible. Process: Anyone (female or male) can nominate a candidate by completing the nomination form and emailing it to Debra Warner at email@example.com or faxing it to 262-522-2211. A nomination fee of $30 needs to be included with the nomination form.
The Finnish Paperworkers’ Union has issued a new strike announcement to UPM, declaring that their strike at UPM’s Finnish mills will be extended by two weeks until 19 February 2022, unless new agreements are reached before that. The Paperworkers’ Union’s strike at UPM Pulp, UPM Biofuels, UPM Communication Papers, UPM Specialty Papers and UPM Raflatac units in Finland started 1 January 2022. UPM’s goal continues to be to start business specific negotiations with the union as soon as possible. “Only in the negotiations will it be possible to open up the goals of the parties and seek solutions together. Our businesses are very different from each other, which is why business-specific agreements are essential to us. Our focus is not on next month or next year, but on pursuing agreements that will enable each business to succeed well into the future. Business success also benefits our employees,” says Jyrki Hollmén, Vice President, Labour Markets at UPM.
In its continuing efforts to discover and develop innovative technologies for the packaging industry, Amcor (NYSE: AMCR; ASX: AMC) announced today its strategic investment in PragmatIC Semiconductor, a world leader in ultra, low-cost electronics. Based in the United Kingdom, PragmatIC Semiconductor develops flexible, integrated circuits beyond the scope of conventional electronics. Their ConnectIC® family of radio frequency identification and near-field communications (RFID/NFC) integrated chips can be embedded into packaging to store and relay information to devices such as smartphones. This technology will enable smart packaging applications across the entire product lifecycle – from manufacturing and supply chain management to consumer engagement and even material recovery.
Rocket redefines beverage packaging safety standards by offering a unique, highly visible, and non-detachable tamper evidence system to the market. The sports cap complies with upcoming sustainability regulations, including the Single-Use Plastics (SUP) directive proposal in Europe. “Our goal was to develop a cap that meets consumers’ expectations of safety and drinking experience, while also addressing the increasing demand for companies to offer solutions that include sustainable packaging,” said David Haig, Aptar’s sales director, EMEA. “Partnering with ACTIPH Water to combine the Rocket sports cap with its brand speaks to the innovative nature of both companies, where ACTIPH wants to match the overall consumer experience with the quality of its water.”
We announce our ambitious commitment to align our global operations to a 1.5°C scenario as set out in the Paris Climate Agreement. The roadmap to 1.5°C has been submitted for verification by the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi)*. To achieve this, we are accelerating the reduction of carbon emissions for our own operations, as well as those of our partners and suppliers, by committing to reducing our Scope 1, 2 and 3 Green House Gas (GHG) emissions by 46% on an absolute basis by 2030, compared to 2019 levels. These targets will keep us, a member of the UN’s Race to Zero initiative, in line with our prior commitment to reach Net Zero** carbon emissions by 2050. "Today’s announcement demonstrates our ambition in reducing carbon as part of our long-term sustainability focus. This commitment not only ensures our business is leading the way in reducing our carbon footprint, but also guarantees we are challenging our suppliers and partners to do the same. Our business has ambitious growth plans over the coming years as we lead the transition to a circular economy and these commitments are a crucial part of our Now and Next sustainability strategy which will see us create a positive impact for people and the planet both now and in the future." — Miles Roberts, Group Chief Executive at DS Smith
Smurfit Kappa has continued to demonstrate its leadership in innovative and sustainable packaging solutions by winning 13 WorldStar 2022 Awards. Innovative solutions including groundbreaking corrugated packaging for the transportation of fresh fish, a paper-based ceiling luminaire that replaces metal and plastic fittings and a space-saving, easy-to-assemble packaging solution for confectionery all received top honours in the 2022 awards. The Beverage category was one of the areas where Smurfit Kappa shone at this year’s awards. Its popular TopClip packaging solution, which is a sustainable alternative for the shrink wrap which is commonly used to bundle multipacks of cans, took home an award. TopClip is one of Smurfit Kappa’s Better Planet Packaging portfolio of products which have garnered considerable interest from companies seeking to reduce their environmental footprint.
TC Transcontinental is proud to have climbed to 16th place on the list of the 100 most sustainable corporations in the world, as unveiled today by Corporate Knights, in addition to ranking first in the packaging industry. This performance represents a significant improvement, whereas last year the corporation ranked 45th in the same category. According to Corporate Knights, TC Transcontinental stood out for its high percentage of clean revenue from the sale of eco-responsible products, its clean investments, and the gender diversity of its Board of Directors and senior management. The Corporation has indeed made several advances in terms of corporate social responsibility (CSR), including: *Expanding its vieVERTe sustainable packaging portfolio, which includes its commercialized compostable, 100% recyclable and post consumer resin product lines *Investing more than $10 million in product research and development (R&D) *Launching the ASTRA Center, composed of four different state-of-the-art R&D labs, located in Menasha, Wisconsin *Achieving 31% women in leadership positions in its Packaging, Printing and Media sectors, exceeding its initial target.
It’s not a major surprise, really, that our 38th annual ranking of the largest printing industry companies in the U.S. and Canada, as ranked by annual sales, is now the 2021 Printing Impressions 300 — and not the Printing Impressions 350 that appeared in 2020. After all, the majority of the graphic arts businesses on our venerable list reported their calendar 2020 annual sales as their most recent fiscal year, with calendar 2019 representing their previous year sales. Given the onslaught, and subsequent shutdowns, of many segments of the U.S. economy beginning in March 2020 due to COVID-19, it’s understandable that CEOs of commercial printing companies were not racing to report their annual sales numbers. And, although the printing industry was ultimately deemed “essential,” many of the vertical markets that these primarily privately-held printing businesses serve were not. Combine that with all the business uncertainty among marketers, brand owners, retailers, and other print buyers, it’s no surprise that many companies appearing on our 2021 list in this issue reported double-digit annual revenue drops.
Sappi North America, Inc., a leading producer and supplier of diversified paper, packaging products and pulp, has been named a 2021 SEAL Sustainable Product Award winner for its Ultracast Viva® casting and release paper. Ultracast Viva was also selected by the International Design Awards Jury for an Honorable Mention for textile design. Ultracast Viva is the new standard for high-fidelity casting and release papers, offering compatibility with solvent-free casting systems, serving as the mold for coated fabrics by transferring texture and gloss to create authentically pleasing synthetic leathers and other coated materials. The textured surfaces are then used for end products people use every day, such as shoes, car seats, handbags, apparel and more. After use, the release paper is stripped away and can be reused multiple times.
The Arena Group, a digital publishing company formerly called Maven, plans to acquire AMG/Parade, the parent company to the storied American magazine Parade, in a $16 million cash and stock deal. Why it matters: AMG/Parade will anchor The Arena Group's new push into lifestyle content and will boost its sports vertical, per Ross Levinsohn, CEO of The Arena Group. AMG (Athlon Media Group) includes a professional sports magazine arm called Athlon Sports and Parade Media Group, which includes Parade Magazine as well as the cooking outlet Relish and the wellness outlet Spry Living.
Accelerate360, the former magazine distributor that expanded into publishing, and now controls many celebrity and health brands primarily sold by newsstand, announced it is acquiring the Bauer Media Group’s publishing assets, including the one-time checkout juggernauts Woman’s World and First for Women. The transaction also includes the Bauer U.S. bookazine business, which produces more than 100 special-interest publications per year. The deal is expected to close next month. Bauer’s titles dominated the checkout slots for decades.
Bookstore sales continued their strong rebound in 2021 over 2020 in November. Preliminary estimates from the U.S. Census Bureau indicate bookstore sales were $709 million, up 43% over the $496 million in sales from November 2020. This increase followed a 53% sales jump for year-to-year October sales.
American Trucking Associations’ advanced seasonally adjusted (SA) For-Hire Truck Tonnage Index increased 1% in December after rising 0.5% in November. In December, the index equaled 114.7 (2015=100) compared with 113.5 in November. “December’s gain was the fifth straight totaling 4.4%,” said ATA Chief Economist Bob Costello. “In December, tonnage reached the highest level since March, but it was still 2.7% below the pre-pandemic high. This is likely due to the fact ATA’s data is dominated by contract freight. Contractor truckload carriers operated fewer trucks in 2021 compared with 2020 and it is difficult to haul significantly more tonnage with fewer trucks. But overall, we have seen a nice trend up that is reflective of a still growing goods-economy.” November’s reading was revised down from our December 21 press release.
Printpack, a US-based manufacturer of flexible and specialty rigid packaging, is pleased to announce a strategic partnership with Sirane, a UK-based leader in paper coating and paper-based packaging. Together, the two companies will jointly enable customers to reach their sustainability goals by offering recyclable, coated paper packaging. The combination of Printpack’s printing and laminating knowledge with Sirane’s paper coating and pouch forming expertise creates the perfect partnership to fulfill the market need. Well over half of US consumers rank paperboard or paper as extremely or very sustainable. Further research reveals that 66% of US consumers think that paper is best for the environment. Its wide ability to be recycled helps positively position paper in the minds of consumers. Recyclability is one of the features most associated with environmentally friendly packaging.
The American Forest & Paper Association (AF&PA) today released preliminary 2021 data from U.S. paper and paperboard mills indicating record containerboard production, the material used to make cardboard boxes. The preliminary data indicates total containerboard production in 2021 increased 5.6 percent compared to 2020, the ninth increase in the past 10 years. “Paper products and materials like containerboard help to meet the needs of consumers seeking sustainable choices,” said AF&PA President and CEO Heidi Brock. “These are some of the most-recycled materials in the United States – in fact, more paper by weight is recycled from municipal waste streams than plastic, glass, steel and aluminum combined.”
International technology group ANDRITZ has received an order from Holmen Iggesund Paperboard Ltd. to supply a state-of-the art primary effluent and sludge treatment line for its mill in Workington, UK. Start-up is scheduled for the first quarter of 2023. The mill will completely replace the existing primary effluent treatment plant to improve the efficiency of the system and reduce the level of total suspended solids (TSS) in the outfall. ANDRITZ will supply a tailormade technological solution, including channel screening, clarifying, automated flocculant and coagulant dosing, and sludge dewatering: *ANDRITZ Aqua-Screen channel screens specially designed for handling wastewater streams will ensure effective coarse screening and removal of large contaminants from the influent to the clarifiers. *Clarifiers will be installed to ensure efficient solid-liquid separation for coastal discharge. The clarifier tanks will be raised off the ground on legs to facilitate operation and maintenance activities. *State-of-the-art sludge handling line, including proven ANDRITZ gravity tables prior to ANDRITZ sludge screw presses for minimum flocculant consumption, lowest solids load in the filtrate and highest possible sludge dryness.
Solenis, a leading global producer of specialty chemicals, closed on the acquisition of 100% of the outstanding shares of SCL GmbH (“SCL”) on January 18, 2022. Located in Ludwigshafen, Germany, SCL produces DMA3, a primary raw material for cationic polyacrylamide production. The acquisition of the SCL business helps Solenis fulfill a strategic insourcing objective and supports Solenis’ polyacrylamide strategic global growth plan. “The acquisition of this business provides Solenis with the backward integration that supports our polyacrylamide growth plan and better enables us to provide strategic products to our customers around the world,” said John Panichella, CEO, Solenis. “This is our first bolt-on acquisition following our recent ownership change to Platinum Equity. The support by the Platinum team for our strategic growth plan has been excellent, and I am confident that our partnership will yield more of these projects in the future.”
Smurfit Kappa, one of the leading providers of paper-based packaging solutions in the world, has announced an investment of over USD33 million in Brazil to expand the capacity of its plant in Fortaleza to meet the growing demand for innovative and sustainable packaging. The expansion, which includes the installa tion of a new corrugator, will significantly extend the plant’s Shelf Ready Packaging capability for FMCG customers in a range of sectors including fresh fruit, home appliances and pharmaceuticals. Several high-end printers will also be installed to provide the high level of precision and quality that is required for eCommerce packaging. In addition, a new innovation centre will foster even more customer collaboration and enhance the development of impactful, sustainable and market-leading packaging solutions.
Flint Group, including all business units within its Packaging and its Commercial Publication & Web divisions, has achieved a Silver status from EcoVadis, the world’s largest and most trusted provider of business sustainability ratings with a global network of over 85,000 rated companies. The company was considered to be in the top 21% of companies rated by EcoVadis in the manufacture of paints, varnishes and similar coatings, including printing inks. It was rated in the top 9% of companies in the Sustainable Procurement category, as well as in the top 7% for Ethics.
Rayonier Advanced Materials Inc. announced the introduction of a second generation (2G) bioethanol product for Europe’s fast-growing biofuels market. Produced using wood-based feedstock (not in competition with food), RYAM will be among the first in France to produce 2G bioethanol fuel from wood. With a ninety percent smaller carbon footprint compared to fossil fuel-based gasoline, RYAM’s bioethanol product will help petrochemical companies meet their need for clean and renewable energy in the European market and contribute to reduced climate change. “With the successful development of second-generation bioethanol products, RYAM is taking an important step toward achieving our BioFuture and promoting a more sustainable world,” said Vito Consiglio, President and CEO of Rayonier Advanced Materials. “The strong demand for this innovative, renewable biofuel represents another example of how we can leverage our existing biorefineries and knowledge of cellulose chemistry to provide biobased solutions.”
The close of 2021 marked a big safety milestone for our Whitecourt Pulp Division: for the first time since its start-up in 1988, the pulp mill passed an entire calendar year with no recordable incidents – that’s 0 lost-time accidents and 0 medical treatments. Today, the mill stands at 1001 days without a lost-time incident and 557 days since its last medical aid, far surpassing the prior mill previous record of 507 days. At Millar Western, our real safety focus is on outcomes, not records. But these numbers represent individual people, going home safe to family and friends at the end of each shift. In the especially challenging year of 2021, the safety milestones reached by pulp mill staff were an especially outstanding achievement. Congratulations to all at Whitecourt Pulp, where safety’s in good hands!
Mondi received the Cradle to Cradle certification at Bronze level for its uncoated fine papers produced in its mills in Austria, Slovakia and Russia. Mondi is thus the first to offer an extensive uncoated fine paper portfolio as Cradle to Cradle Certified® meeting the high standards and demanding requirements of this certification scheme which marks the step from a linear to a circular economy. This includes Mondi´s well-known professional printing brands Color Copy and PERGRAPHICA®, as well as its range of NAUTILUS® branded recycled papers, and a wide office paper portfolio. "We are proud to kick off the year with this strong sustainability achievement underlining our Mondi Action Plan 2030 (MAP2030) commitment to create circular-driven solutions. For many years, Mondi has been a leader, and often a pioneer, in the sustainability of its uncoated fine papers. For example, Color Copy became the world´s first FSCTMcertified colour laser paper in 2005. Thanks to our new Cradle to Cradle certification our customers have a uniquely wide choice of products to support the environment and contribute to the circular economy without sacrificing on quality or price." Devan Naidoo, Marketing and Sales Director at Mondi Uncoated Fine Paper
Sole Source Capital LLC, an industrial-focused private equity firm, announced today that its portfolio company, I.D. Images (“IDI”), a premier provider of product identification solutions, has made three significant acquisitions over the past five months. IDI’s acquisitions of Digital Printing Concepts, Multi-Action Communications, and Valley Forge Tape & Label Company have more than doubled the size of the company and extended its reach to several new markets across the U.S. and Canada since it became a Sole Source Capital portfolio company in August 2021. Terms of the transactions were not disclosed. IDI manufactures high-quality durable and graphic intensive labels that address a broad range of product identification needs for a variety of end markets. Digital Printing Concepts, founded in 2003 and based in East Providence, RI, is a manufacturer of custom durable variable data labels that are utilized in warehouse logistics. Headquartered in Quebec, Canada, Multi-Action Communications is a manufacturer of logistics, grocery, track-and-trace, and prime labels to customers throughout Canada and the United States. The company was founded in 1993 and operates out of three manufacturing facilities across Canada. Based in Exton, PA and founded in 1962, Valley Forge Tape & Label Company is a longstanding, full-service manufacturer of custom printed self-adhesive labels for the Food and Beverage, Healthcare, and Consumer Products industries.
The United States Postal Service reported new service delivery performance metrics for the first week of the fiscal second quarter showing service performance holding steady for First-Class Mail, Marketing Mail and Periodicals. Consistent with the rest of the shipping industry, the organization experienced some minor delays in both ground and air transportation during the week of January 1-7. The Postal Service continues to address impacts to last mile delivery due to availability challenges due to COVID-19 cases and inclement weather events including winter storms on the East Coast, Midwest and West Coast. Second quarter-to-date service performance scores covering the period Jan.1 through Jan. 7 included: *First-Class Mail: 90 percent of First-Class Mail delivered on time against the USPS service standard, an improvement of .37 percentage points from the first quarter. *Marketing Mail: 91.7 percent of Marketing Mail delivered on time against the USPS service standard, a slight decrease of .46 percentage points from the first quarter. Periodicals: 81.1 percent of Periodicals delivered on time against the USPS service standard, with an improvement of .37 percentage points from the first quarter.
Leading European thermoforming packaging specialist Waddington® Europe, a division of Novolex®, has introduced an innovative recyclable tray for meat, fish and poultry products. The container, called Piranha™, is sealed using a series of raised teeth that run around the sealing flange instead of applying a layer of polyethylene or adhesive, which are typically used to seal the lid of modified atmosphere packaging (MAP). The raised teeth maintain the seal’s integrity even if the flange becomes contaminated by animal fat, which can interfere with closure on traditional packaging for meat, fish and poultry (MFP) products.
In the autumn of 2021, Metsä Group launched a ten-year programme to support regionally effective development projects that are carried out outside commercial Finnish forests and support biodiversity and the state of waters. The projects may relate to bird waters and wetlands, watercourse routes, small waters and coastal environments, pollinator habitats or new water protection methods. Nearly 40 projects took part in the first round of applications, which ended in late November 2021. The following projects were the first to be selected for the programme, with a total financial investment by Metsä Group of approximately EUR 350,000. *Rehabilitation and repair of the Virtaankoski dam in Tainionvirta river in Sysmä *Rehabilitation and repair of Hiitolanjoki river in Simpele *Maintenance and repair of wetlands and test use of soil improvement substances suitable for the retaining of agricultural nutrients in Lemi (“Kuuksenenselkä kuntoon” project) *Improvement of the living conditions of the large Arctic char in southern Saimaa and Kuolimo (“Pro Nieriä” project) *Repair work of Pieni Pyhävesi, headwater lake of the Kymijoki waterway in Mäntyharju *Wetland projects in Alavus, Urjala and Orimattila
Sun Chemical will increase prices across its entire portfolio of packaging, commercial sheetfed and screen inks, coatings, consumables and adhesives in North America, effective immediately or as contracts allow. The unprecedented pace of inflationary cost movements continues to impact the entire spectrum of raw material inputs and packaging components for the ink industry. In addition, the sustained shortage of available labor, along with the supply/demand dynamics in both the global and regional logistics markets, are contributing factors in driving further cost increases. Sun Chemical continues to find ways of mitigating these costs, but the magnitude and speed of cost increases require the company to increase prices to offset impacts to the business.
The ODP Corporation announced that its Board of Directors determined to delay the previously announced public company separation to evaluate a potential sale of the Company’s consumer business. In May 2021, the Company announced that its Board of Directors unanimously approved a plan to separate ODP into two independent, publicly-traded companies by means of a tax-free spin-off to ODP shareholders. In November 2021, USR Parent, Inc., the parent company of Staples and a portfolio company of Sycamore Partners, reaffirmed its non-binding proposal to acquire the Company’s consumer business, including the Office Depot and OfficeMax retail stores business, the Company's direct channel business (officedepot.com), and the Office Depot and OfficeMax intellectual property, including all brand names, for $1 billion in cash. The Company remains in conversation with Sycamore as it further evaluates the potential value and regulatory risk of Sycamore’s proposed transaction. In December 2021, ODP’s Board of Directors received a non-binding proposal from another third party to acquire the Company’s consumer business. The terms of that proposal are confidential.
FSC individual certificate holders applying for new or renewed certification will need to sign a new Trademark License Agreement (TLA, version 6) starting January 20, 2022. The TLA is a legal document that governs the relationship between FSC and the certificate holder, granting the right to use the FSC trademarks for both on-product labelling and promotional use. The specific rules governing the use of the FSC trademarks by certificate holders are set out in FSC-STD-50-001. FSC regularly revises the TLA to comply with the latest legal requirements and to ensure that the integrity and credibility of the FSC certification scheme is upheld and protected.
Vonco Products LLC, an industry-leading risk-free turnkey contract manufacturer of medical devices and fluid bags, biohazard and specimen transport, infection protection and PPEs, and clean room assembly, packaging, sterilization management, and distribution, is excited to announce the acquisition of Flex-Pak Packaging Products, Inc. Based out of Batavia, IL, Flex-Pak provides world-class flexible barrier packaging and sterile barrier DuPont™ Tyvek® pouches for leading consumer and healthcare organizations. “Vonco is on a mission to create more value for healthcare devices and consumer products while reducing risk for our customers,” said Keith Smith, CEO of Vonco. “This acquisition puts Vonco in a very unique space of providing risk-free turnkey contract manufacturing of devices, packaging, and sterilization management, streamlining the supply chain for our customers.”
Smurfit Kappa has had its emissions reduction targets approved by the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi) as consistent with levels required to meet the goals of the Paris Agreement. The targets covering greenhouse gas emissions from Smurfit Kappa’s operations (scopes 1 and 2) are consistent with reductions required to keep global warming to well-below 2°C. The SBTi is a collaboration between CDP, the United Nations Global Compact, World Resources Institute (WRI) and the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) which defines and promotes best practice in science-based target setting and independently assesses companies’ targets. The initiative mobilises companies to set science-based targets in the transition to a low-carbon economy. Emission reduction targets are considered ‘science-based’ when their CO2 reduction targets are in line with what the latest climate science says is needed to meet the goals of the Paris Agreement.
When defining the outlook for book manufacturing in the year ahead, John Galligan, president of Bradford & Bigelow in Newburyport, Massachusetts, uses an apt analogy considering the topic at hand: “It’s a tale of two cities,” he says. Galligan is referring to the marked difference between the outlook at the beginning of this year to the outlook now, with regard to the ongoing supply chain challenges. In Printing Impressions’ Book Manufacturing Outlook for 2021, demand outstripping supply was already emerging as a leading concern, and as the Book Manufacturers Institute (BMI) published its "State of the Book Industry 2021," Executive Director Matt Baehr commented: “As we move forward, economic and labor trends, along with supply chain issues, will affect our industry greatly.”
R.R. Donnelley & Sons Company has joined the Paperboard Packaging Council (PPC), the North American association for paperboard packaging manufacturers and their suppliers. “We are thrilled to be accepted into the PPC as one of their Principal members,” said Lisa Pruett, President of RRD Packaging Solutions, Forms and Labels. “The leaders in the packaging industry rely on the PPC for research, education, networking, and more; I am certain we will gain great value from our membership that will enhance RRD’s place in the paperboard packaging universe translating to better service to our clients.”
Ahlstrom-Munksjö has successfully completed the acquisition of a 60% stake in Chinese decor paper producer Minglian New Materials Technology Co., Ltd. and forms a joint venture which comprises a state-of-the-art plant in the city of Xingtai, Hebei Province, China. A non-binding letter of intent with the majority shareholders was initially signed in November 2019 but the Covid-19 pandemic delayed the negotiations and closing of the transaction. By combining Minglian with its existing Decor business, Ahlstrom-Munksjö creates a global leader in decor papers with improved cost competitiveness and strong presence in Europe, Americas and Asia. The business combination allows Ahlstrom-Munksjö to leverage its brand and capabilities in the large and growing high-end decor paper market in China. It will strengthen Ahlstrom-Munksjö’s ability to serve international customers both in the short- and long term. Ahlstrom-Munksjö will provide technical and operational expertise to Minglian and strengthen Minglian’s customer offering and service in the domestic medium and high-quality segments as well as adjacent export markets. Minglian provides cost competitive manufacturing to the combined Decor business platform and opportunities to optimize production and extend further decor paper manufacturing capacities.
National Average Price for Regular Unleaded Current: $3.306; Month Ago: $3.323; Year Ago: $2.365. National Average Price for Diesel Current: $3.602; Month Ago: $3.598; Year Ago: $2.611.
American Dollar to Canadian Dollar = 0.798910; American Dollar to Chinese Yuan = 0.157387; American Dollar to Euro = 1.144236; American Dollar to Japanese Yen = 0.008794; American Dollar to Mexican Peso = 0.049221.
O-I Glass, Inc. announced that its wholly owned subsidiary, Paddock Enterprises, LLC, has filed its Plan of Reorganizationand related disclosure statement with the United States Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware as part of the Chapter 11 bankruptcy case Paddock initiated on January 6, 2020. The Plan, once confirmed by the courts, will result in a permanent resolution of all current and future asbestos personal injury claims. The Plan is jointly proposed by the “Plan Proponents,” which are O-I Glass, the Official Committee of Asbestos Personal Injury Claimants, Paddock, and the legal representative for future asbestos personal injury claimants.
REI Co-op is putting a new distribution center that will operate as a zero-waste facility. The specialty outdoor retailer is building a 400,000-sq.-ft. distribution center in Lebanon, Tenn., to support its continued growth on the East Coast and in the Midwest and South. Expected to open in fall 2023, the building and its operations will proactively address the employee experience, community engagement and environmental impact, according to REI. Al. Neyer is the retailer’s architect and general contractor partner. Situated on 41 acres in Wilson County, the facility will be one mile from I-40 and three miles from downtown Lebanon. The location will considerably reduce shipping times to fulfill customers' online purchases and be able to support more than 70 REI stores. Nearly 5.6 million REI members live in the service area of the new distribution center.
The Pan African Forest Certification (PAFC) Congo Basin regional system has achieved PEFC endorsement. This is the world’s first PEFC endorsed regional forest certification system. Our national members for Cameroon, Congo, and Gabon joined forces under the name of PAFC Congo Basin to develop this regional certification system. The shared language and the similar forestry conditions in the three neighbouring countries enables them to share one system. By developing a regional system, our members can maximise their impact and reach, share resources and knowledge, and reduce the costs in developing and running a forest certification system.
Paper is a sustainable, capable packaging material. Here are some of the ways protective paper packaging can increase sustainability and reduce damages. Executive summary: *Paper is a sustainable option for shippers who want to simultaneously protect packages and meet sustainability goals. *Protective paper packaging is an excellent material for block and brace packaging and works well for industrial components like small automotive parts. *Pregis machines like the Easypack® Packmaster™ Pro complement paper packaging and allow workers to quickly and efficiently protect products during shipment. *Box-in-box products, like those commonly used by e-commerce shippers, can be filled with paper packaging to provide extra protection. *Paper is ideal for products with sharp edges or irregular shapes, as it can be ripped and torn without losing its cushioning qualities.
As we close in on two full years of the pandemic, lockdowns, Zoom meetings, and lives lived through screens, experts are finding that digital fatigue has firmly set in. Everyone is looking to make connections that don’t involve the light of a computer, phone, or tablet. Direct mail — a brand’s old and trusted friend — is one of the answers. “Businesses are realizing with digital fatigue that direct mail can play a critical role of getting attention,” notes Jeff Heyman, VP of product development and e-commerce for FedEx Office. “Direct mail is an integral part of the most successful marketing strategies that combine digital and physical communication.” He continues, “Customers are longing for connection after being home for so long and direct mail gives that to them. It allows businesses to communicate that they are open for business, and how they have adapted their business throughout the pandemic.”
Studies show signs give you the biggest bang for your buck. In ancient times, signs were a primary form of communication between merchants and prospective customers. Merchants in Babylon, Egypt, Athens, Pompeii and Rome used signs to identify their shops, promote prices and distinguish their businesses from competitors. In our modern world, signs are so ubiquitous that you probably barely notice they’re there. But signs are crucial to your business’s success. Signs direct customers, remind them of your brand and inspire them to make daily decisions. Research shows that about 90% of information sent to your brain is visual; that’s why imagery is crucial if you want to connect with potential customers. Because humans are visual, custom-made signs communicate powerfully with your audience because they combine attractive color and engaging text to create memorable messages that resonate. Well-designed custom retail signs with stunning graphics increase brand awareness. And the more potential customers who know about your brand, the more they’ll trust your services and the more likely they will purchase from you.
Rayonier Advanced Materials, Inc. announced that it has achieved International Sustainability and Carbon Certification Plus (ISCC+) recognition at its Fernandina Beach facility. The certification will allow RYAM’s customers to procure ISCC+ certified High Purity Cellulose, addressing sustainability requirements in their end markets. This certification only applies to the Fernandina Beach facility initially across various end uses, but may be expanded to other facilities as customer demand for sustainable inputs rise. “The ISCC Plus certification demonstrates RYAM’s commitment to sustainable production and to provide its key customers with the highest quality biobased products,” said Vito Consiglio, President and Chief Executive Officer at Rayonier Advanced Materials.
Sappi Limited, a leading producer of dissolving pulp sold under the brand name Verve, is pleased to announce that it has completed a self-assessment of the Higg Facility Social and Labour Module (FSLM) at its Ngodwana and Saiccor Mills in South Africa. The self-assessment results were very positive and highlight Sappi’s commitment to maintaining a high level of social and labour practices. Ngodwana and Saiccor Mills produce dissolving pulp under the Verve brand, which is used primarily in the textile and hygiene product industries. Developed by the Sustainable Apparel Coalition, the Higg FSLM is part of a suite of tools that enables manufacturing facilities within the textile value chains to measure themselves against a standard set of criteria in the areas of recruitment and hiring, working hours, wages and benefits, worker treatment, worker involvement, health and safety, termination and management systems.
The Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI) announced Bettina Ring as its new Chief Sustainability and Diversity Officer today. Ring will provide leadership internally and externally on strategic initiatives related to sustainability and diversity. She will also seek to leverage SFI’s scale to drive meaningful change in the forest and conservation sector through collaboration with SFI’s network. Ring has deep connections to the forest sector, most recently serving as Secretary of Agriculture and Forestry for the Commonwealth of Virginia, and to SFI, having formerly served on the SFI Board of Directors and recognized as the SFI President’s Award winner in 2018. Additionally, under Ring’s leadership, 68,000 acres of Virginia’s state forests were certified to the SFI Forest Management and American Tree Farm System Standards, which provide assurance of sustainable practices on managed forestlands.
Tetra Pak, in partnership with Elvir, a subsidiary of Savencia Fromage & Dairy - a world leading milk processor - has become the first carton packaging player in the food and beverage industry to launch a cap using certified recycled polymers. This move marks a key step in both companies’ progress towards circularity. By helping to find an economically sound use for plastic waste and responsibly sourcing raw materials, Tetra Pak and Elvir continue to minimise their dependency on virgin, fossil-based resources. Elle & Vire chose the HeliCap™ 23 cap solution to complement its cream products, which are distributed in Tetra Brik® Aseptic 1L Slim carton packages. This one-step resealable screwcap is manufactured at Tetra Pak’s Châteaubriant plant in Loire-Atlantique, France – a site that has been awarded the Roundtable on Sustainable Biomaterials (RSB) Advanced Products certification and boosted by a €100 million investment to accelerate the transition to the production of tethered caps. The HeliCap™ 23 cap offers consumers ease of opening and features a clearly visible tamper evidence ring, providing reassurance that the product hasn’t been opened before.
Taylor Corporation announced today the rebranding of three companies acquired over the past two decades to better reflect its “Taylor United” corporate strategy. The three companies are Curtis 1000, a leading provider of commercial print and packaging; Vectra Visual, known for design-forward solutions in retail signage and merchandising; and Optima Graphics, one of the nation’s leading wholesale suppliers to the trade show and event markets. Together, the companies comprise the newly-named Taylor Print & Visual Impressions, Inc., led by enterprise group president Mike Robinson. The newly created group encompasses 2,250 employees, 17 facilities and a diverse range of print capabilities, all supported by marketing, data and analytics designed to optimize the creation of high-impact brand communications and experiences.
Developing a strategy for future campaigns can feel overwhelming—we get it. Staring at a white wall is how it usually starts. Well, how about first looking at where you can save money? WHAT’S THIS USPS PROMOTIONS AND INCENTIVES PROGRAM ABOUT? In 2011, the USPS introduced the marketing mail promotions program, in which they discount a percentage of postage on any campaign that meets the requirements. The purpose is to encourage marketers to integrate different technologies with mail to engage audiences and strengthen the relevance of direct mail. After ten years now, it’s been proven successful.
UPM Raflatac and WWF Poland have renewed their contract to build a smarter future beyond fossils together. During the new three-year contract period the collaboration will focus on promoting circular economy including waste management as well as sustainable forestry practices. To increase the engagement and support for both of these important initiatives facing today’s challenges, this three-year contract is also set to engage UPM Raflatac’s internal and external stakeholders. “As part of UPM The Biofore Company, we are committed to building a sustainable, innovation-driven future and want to share our expertise and assets with the communities we operate in. UPM Raflatac is part of the packaging value chain and labels can play a key role in enabling circular economy in this value chain. Given the resource needs today, promoting sustainable forestry supports our journey beyond fossils,” says Vera Bartsch, UPM Raflatac.
Urban Outfitters, Inc. announced net sales for the two and eleven months ended December 31, 2021. Total Company net sales for the two months ended December 31, 2021, increased 14.6% compared to the two months ended December 31, 2019. Comparable Retail segment net sales increased 14%, driven by strong double-digit growth in digital channel sales, partially offset by high single-digit negative retail store sales primarily due to reduced store traffic. By brand, comparable Retail segment net sales increased 47% at the Free People Group, 15% at the Anthropologie Group and 3% at Urban Outfitters. Total Retail segment net sales increased 15%. Wholesale segment net sales decreased 18% primarily from reducing the Free People Group’s sales to promotional wholesale customers. URBN now believes that the total Company fourth quarter gross margin could deleverage due to higher than anticipated inbound transportation costs. For the eleven months ended December 31, 2021, total Company net sales increased 14.4% compared to the eleven months ended December 31, 2019. Comparable Retail segment net sales increased 16%, driven by strong double-digit growth in digital channel sales, partially offset by low double-digit negative retail store sales due to reduced store traffic. Wholesale segment net sales decreased 22% primarily from reducing the Free People Group’s sales to promotional wholesale customers.
Chico's FAS, Inc. reported holiday sales and updated its outlook for fiscal 2021 fourth quarter sales and earnings. Molly Langenstein, Chico's FAS Chief Executive Officer and President, and Patrick ("PJ") Guido, Chico's FAS Chief Financial Officer, will discuss progress on the Company's strategic plan and these results at the ICR Conference today at 3:30 PM ET. For the nine-week holiday period ending January 1, 2022, total net sales grew approximately 30% compared to the same period last year. Comparable sales for the nine-week holiday period grew approximately 31.5% over fiscal 2020. The Company has updated its fourth quarter outlook and expects fourth quarter net sales at the low end of the $495 million to $510 million range previously provided on November 30, 2021 and expects diluted earnings per share at the high end of the previously provided $0.00 to $0.05 range.
In our interview series Meeting our Certified Companies, we hear from companies from around the world, large and small, which are proud to be a part of PEFC, and to help safeguard our forests through their commitment. In our latest interview, Natàlia Carmona, Director of Food Quality and Safety at Spanish cardboard packaging manufacturer Alzamora Group, shared her thoughts on sustainability and respect for the environment.
The Sustainable Green Printing Partnership (SGP), the leading authority in sustainable printing certifications, announced the election of Birdley James of Miller Zell to its Board of Directors. James is SGP/EHS Coordinator & Compliance Manager and leads Miller Zell’s sustainability efforts. His responsibilities include expanding recycling initiatives, and overseeing sustainability program compliance, SGP certification requirements, environmental & safety compliance audits, environmental safety processes & procedures and safety training.
Specialty Print Communications (SPC) added another milestone on its strategic growth path by acquiring the assets of American Marketing Services & Consultants (AMS). Based in Mundelein, IL, AMS was founded in 1976 and provides a number of mail, letter shop & fulfillment services for companies of all sizes. With an experienced team and state of the art equipment, AMS provides added firepower to SPC’s existing lettershop. “We are excited to have AMS onboard”, stated Adam LeFebvre, SPC President. “We have a long history with AMS and the timing is right for us to make this important investment. Our business has seen dramatic growth in recent years and an expanded lettershop team will help us keep up with client demand.” SPC has retained the entire AMS team and will integrate all lettershop operations within its existing facility in Niles.
Ahlstrom-Munksjö introduces EcoJetTM Transfer S Series for digital-transfer printing applications. The new product series consist of high-quality transfer papers that offer excellent printing and transfer resolution, fast ink drying, and high ink acceptance, especially suitable for hard surface image transfer. Digital printing is an effective and economical method that reduces lead time compared to traditional printing methods. It is also a more sustainable method as it uses less water and produces less waste. In digital sublimation printing, the printed transfer paper is placed onto a surface, after which the paper and the soft or hard surface are pressed together at high temperature to adhere the ink on the paper to the surface. Ahlstrom-Munksjö’s multipurpose EcoJet™ range offers trusted and innovative solutions for digital transfer printing for garments, household, technical and visual communication, including both Transfer Paper (Dye Sublimation) and Protection Tissue (used to protect and increase the lifetime of the printer, while preventing ink penetration). The EcoJet™ range is produced from responsibly sourced wood pulp, certified according to Forest Stewardship Council® standards.
Global packaging and paper leader Mondi has accelerated plans to take action on climate by committing to transition to Net-Zero by 2050. This next step builds on almost two decades of progress, including a 45% reduction in specific greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions against a 2004 baseline and science-based targets approved by the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi) in 2019. "The climate crisis is the most urgent risk facing society and businesses must take decisive action to mitigate their impact. Mondi has a long track record of investing in our operations to reduce our GHG emissions and the Board’s approval of our new Net-Zero plan reinforces our commitment to contributing to a better world. The adoption of science-based targets in line with 1.5°C is an important milestone in our journey to Net-Zero. However taking action today is an absolute imperative and we already have a clear roadmap to achieve our 2025 milestones." Andrew King, Mondi’s Group CEO
Clearwater Paper Corporation introduced NuVo® withBioPBS™, a sustainable cup stock that provides foodservice operators with a compostable alternative to hot cups coated with low-density polyethylene. NuVo® withBioPBS™ is the first cup stock to combine a compostable barrier, 35% post-consumer fiber, Forest Stewardship Council® (FSC®) chain-of-custody certification (FSC-C008402), and a high-definition print surface. “When we launched the NuVo® brand in 2019, we made a promise to continually innovate to maximize product differentiation and sustainability. We are pleased to continue delivering on that commitment by introducing NuVo® withBioPBS™, a next-generation cup stock that we believe will allow our customers to be at the forefront of growing trends in sustainability,” said Steve Bowden, senior vice president and general manager of the pulp and paperboard division.
Corporate Graphics Commercial, a Taylor Corporation company, is pleased to announce that it has reached an agreement to acquire the assets of Reindl Bindery Co., Inc. of Germantown, Wis. The acquisition of Reindl expands CGC’s capacity and capabilities and offers immediate growth opportunities for its publishing business. “We’re seeing greater demand for bindery services than at any time in our history,” says Dan Kvasnicka, President of Taylor Print Impressions. “By adding the talent and technology of Reindl, we are positioning Taylor to serve even more customers.” Founded in 1978, family-owned Reindl Bindery has a legacy of providing innovative binding solutions throughout the printing industry, with capabilities spanning a wide range of bindery applications including perfect, layflat and case binding to Smyth sewn books, Wire-O systems and more. “We are thrilled to welcome Reindl to the Taylor team,” said Kvasnicka. “Our capabilities are complementary, and both teams are known for industry-leading quality, responsive service and innovation.”
In a partnership with WestRock and Grupo Gondi, Grupo Modelo is investing roughly 4 million dollars in the sustainable, fiber-based CanCollar® Eco solution in Quintana Roo, a Mexican state on the Yucatan Peninsula. The partnership aims to help advance the beer company’s sustainability goals by eliminating its use of plastic rings in Mexico. Grupo Modelo is the first company in the Americas to adopt the recyclable CanCollar® Eco technology, which will replace hard-to-recycle plastic packaging and is expected to result in over 100 fewer tons1 of plastic waste each year. “At Grupo Modelo, we are continuing to evaluate various alternatives for plastic rings in the packaging of beer cans,” says Soqui Calderon, regional director of Sustainability for Grupo Modelo. “This is how we discovered CanCollar Eco, a new solution developed by WestRock and produced in Mexico by Grupo Gondi. Made from recyclable paperboard, this innovative packaging uses the least amount of material required to hold and to keep our beer cans secure through the supply chain.”
Total net sales of $173.3 million increased by 16.5% for the 2021 holiday period compared to $148.7 million for last year’s comparable nine-week holiday period ended January 2, 2021 (the “2020 holiday period”). *Total comparable net sales, including both physical stores and e-commerce, increased by 14.1% for the 2021 holiday period compared to an increase of 2.7% for the 2020 holiday period. *Comparable net sales in physical stores increased by 23.2% for the 2021 holiday period compared to a decrease of 12.4% during the 2020 holiday period. Comparable net sales in physical stores increased by a double-digit percentage in all but one of 14 geographic markets compared to the 2020 holiday period. Net sales in physical stores represented 74.5% of total net sales for the 2021 holiday period compared to 68.4% of total net sales during the 2020 holiday period.
Aptar Food + Beverage proudly announces the 2″ Ultra Extra Large Valve (XLV), the newest expansion to its inverted closure product line with SimpliSqueeze® technology. The 2” Ultra XLV is Aptar’s first stock closure offering with a valve large enough to successfully dispense very thick or high viscosity products, including those with particulates. The 2” Ultra XLV can be used with a rigid bottle or paired with an inverted flexible pouch to ensure a clean, controlled, convenient dispense with every squeeze. “We are excited to showcase the new 2” Ultra XLV closure to the industry, as well as leading food brands and co-packers that can benefit from this innovative technology,” shared Susan DeGroot, marketing director at Aptar. “Our extra-large flow control valve allows consumers to experience the ultimate in clean, controlled, convenient dispensing in new, thicker or high viscosity product categories. All with the proven technology our easy-to-use SimpliSqueeze® valve has delivered to consumers for more than 25 years.”
Sun Chemical has acquired SAPICI, a global leading company in high-performance polyurethanes for coatings, flexible packaging, industrial adhesives and more. With SAPICI, Sun Chemical reinforces its integrated supply strategy in the packaging market by adding capabilities to develop and produce unique polymers for the entire portfolio of inks, coatings, and lamination adhesives. The combined resources and technologies of DIC/Sun Chemical and SAPICI will provide a comprehensive and unique polymer portfolio for areas such as industrial coatings, elastomers, industrial adhesives, and sealants.
The United States Postal Service reported preliminary performance metrics for the 2021 holiday season showing the organization saw volume increase when compared to the same time last year. Between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Eve, it took on average 2.7 days to deliver a mailpiece or package across the Postal Service network. During the same timeframe, the network accepted more than 13.2 billion letters, cards, flats and packages for delivery, exceeding 12.7 billion accepted for delivery during the same timeframe in 2020. The Postal Service’s peak season preparations included: *Stabilizing the Workforce and Preparing for Pandemic-related Challenges;*Expanded Facility Footprint to Resolve Bottlenecks and Improve the Flow of Mail and Packages; *New Package Sorting Equipment to Expedite Handling and Sortation of Increased Package Volumes; *Diversified, Reliable Transportation Options.
The New York Times Company announced that it has entered into an agreement to acquire The Athletic, the global digital subscription-based sports media business that provides national and local coverage of more than 200 clubs and teams in the U.S. and around the world, for an all cash purchase price of $550 million, subject to customary closing adjustments. The transaction is expected to close in the first quarter of 2022. Meredith Kopit Levien, president and chief executive officer of The New York Times Company, said, “Acquiring The Athletic puts us in a position to be a global leader in sports journalism and offer English speakers around the world another reason to turn to the Times Company to meet their daily news and life needs. The Times already provides distinctive sports coverage for a general interest audience as part of our core report. As a stand-alone product, The Athletic will enable us to offer much more — extensive coverage for fans who seek a deep connection to and understanding of their favorite teams, leagues and players. With one of the largest dedicated teams of reporters covering sports globally and a commitment to everyday reporting, The Athletic is a great complement to The Times.”
Green Bay Packaging Inc. (GBP) announced they will begin construction of a new 600,000 square foot corrugator plant in Fort Worth, Texas. Construction on the site is set to begin in the first quarter of 2022 and startup operation is scheduled for the second quarter of 2023. The new “super-plant” will be replacing GBP’s current 200,000 square foot corrugator plant in Fort Worth. GBP has operated a plant in Fort Worth for over 50 years. The new plant will be equipped with a new 110” Fosber corrugator and all new state-of-the-art high-speed flexo folder gluers and rotary die cutters.
National Average Price for Regular Unleaded Current: $3.303; Month Ago: $3.349; Year Ago: $2.289. National Average Price for Diesel Current: $3.579; Month Ago: $3.616; Year Ago: $2.579.
American Dollar to Canadian Dollar = 0.787113; American Dollar to Chinese Yuan = 0.156805; American Dollar to Euro = 1.131219; American Dollar to Japanese Yen = 0.008636; American Dollar to Mexican Peso = 0.048909.
Two Sides North America is pleased to welcome the Pharmaceutical Printed Literature Association (PPLA) as its newest member. PPLA is a coalition representing printers, equipment manufacturers, raw material suppliers and distributors of regulated printed pharmaceutical information used by both medical professionals and patients, including package inserts, medication guides, and other label packaging such as folding cartons and pressure-sensitive labels. PPLA’s 25 member companies employ thousands of individuals across manufacturing operations in 15 states. “As Two Sides continues to grow our membership across all sectors of the print, paper and paper-based packaging industry, we are delighted to have PPLA join us and look forward to working with them to help promote the sustainability of our industry and our products, and printed pharmaceutical information in particular,” said Two Sides North America President Kathi Rowzie.
We are pleased to announce the acquisition of Dietzgen Corporation® in Tampa, Florida. Dietzgen Corporation® is a leading provider of converting and distribution services for digital print media including papers, films, and textiles to the US market. Dietzgen reliably provides their partners with nation-wide just in time delivery from an extensive inventory housed in six strategically located facilities. The privately held corporation has an extensive network of dealers selling their well-known media brands which include Dietzgen® – Reprographic, Magic® – Sign and Display, Museo® – Fine Art, and Validation® – Premium Proofing. The acquisition of Dietzgen is an important milestone in the strategic development of the Sihl company, especially in North America. We are excited about this transaction as it fuels our vision to become the leading high-end coated print media supplier in the US. The combination of Dietzgen´s superior converting, logistics and distribution capabilities with the innovative product offering and service level of Sihl will create an exceptional offering for our customers in terms of quality and service. We look forward to discussing with you how this transaction can possibly create advantages for you at your earliest convenience and further strengthen our continued partnership.
Oliver Inc. announces it has acquired Professional Image and aspecialtybox.com (collectively, “Professional Image”). Professional Image is a leading manufacturer of custom folding carton packaging and e-commerce provider of innovative stock packaging and accessories serving customers in food and beverage, beauty products, confection, health and wellness, and consumer goods markets. Based in Tulsa, Oklahoma, Professional Image will continue delivering design-forward packaging solutions from its current location. “The addition of Professional Image accelerates Oliver’s position as one of the nation’s largest independent specialty packaging providers,” said Dan Rodenbush, President/CEO of Oliver. “We are proud to welcome the Professional Image and aspecialtybox.com team to the Oliver family. Together, we will better serve our customers with additional geographic reach, capacity, and high-end, design-forward product offerings.”
First quarter highlights: *First quarter earnings per share (EPS*) from continuing operations was $4.13, compared with a loss of $0.45 in the year-ago quarter; continuing operations adjusted** EPS increased to $1.68, up 53.1 percent on a constant currency basis *First quarter sales from continuing operations increased 7.8 percent to $33.9 billion, up 7.6 percent on a constant currency basis *First quarter operating income from continuing operations increased to $1.3 billion, compared with a loss of $535 million in the year-ago quarter; adjusted operating income from continuing operations increased to $1.8 billion, up 48.5 percent on a constant currency basis *VillageMD and Shields majority investments closed on November 24th and October 29th, respectively
The U.S. Postal Service Board of Governors will meet Jan. 12, 2022, in open session at Postal Service headquarters, 475 L’Enfant Plaza, SW, Washington, DC. The public is welcome to observe the meeting beginning at 4:00 p.m. ET in the Benjamin Franklin Room on the 11th floor. The Board is expected to discuss the following items: 1. Call to Order and Remarks of the Vice Chairman 2. Remarks of the Postmaster General and CEO 3. Board Leadership 4. Adjournment. Open session meetings of the Board of Governors are available on live audio webcasts at http://about.usps.com/who/leadership/board-governors/briefings/welcome.htm. Three hours after the conclusion of the open session meeting, a recorded audio file will be available for listening. In compliance with Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act, the audio webcast will be open-captioned.
Costco Wholesale Corporation reported net sales of $22.24 billion for the retail month of December, the five weeks ended January 2, 2022, an increase of 16.2 percent from $19.14 billion last year. For the 18 weeks ended January 2, 2022, the Company reported net sales of $76.34 billion, an increase of 16.6 percent from $65.47 billion last year.
Amazon is tackling packaging sustainability at scale with several artificial intelligence (AI) technologies. In a corporate blog post, Amazon described how it is using machine learning (ML) approaches and a combination of natural language processing and computer vision to determine how to use the right amount of packaging for the hundreds of millions of products it ships. According to Amazon, these tools have helped it reduce per-shipment packaging weight by 36% and eliminating more than a million tons of packaging, equivalent to more than 2 billion shipping boxes, over the past six years. To make a prediction about whether a given product could be safely shipped in a particular package type, Amazon built an ML model based largely on text-based data from online product listings such as item name, description, price, and package dimensions.
The Navigator Company announced today that it will apply an energy, logistics and commodities surcharge to its tissue products, amounting 15% of the sales price, to offset the significant and unexpected raising of its input cost. Its application will be effective for all dispatches from 15 th of January onwards. The continuity and amount will be regularly reviewed based on the evolving market conditions. The global change in the economy, with dramatic impacts, affects the overall industry with unsustainable increase in input costs, such as energy, natural gas, pulp, chemical products, packaging materials, wood pallets and logistics. Navigator believes that this exceptional measure is imperative to support the long-term sustainability of its business model and of the overall supply chain.
Sole Source Capital LLC announced that its portfolio company, I.D. Images (“IDI”), a premier provider of product identification solutions, has made three significant acquisitions over the past five months. IDI’s acquisitions of Digital Printing Concepts, Multi-Action Communications, and Valley Forge Tape & Label Company have more than doubled the size of the company and extended its reach to several new markets across the U.S. and Canada since it became a Sole Source Capital portfolio company in August 2021. Terms of the transactions were not disclosed. IDI manufactures high-quality durable and graphic intensive labels that address a broad range of product identification needs for a variety of end markets. Digital Printing Concepts, founded in 2003 and based in East Providence, RI, is a manufacturer of custom durable variable data labels that are utilized in warehouse logistics. Headquartered in Quebec, Canada, Multi-Action Communications is a manufacturer of logistics, grocery, track-and-trace, and prime labels to customers throughout Canada and the United States. The company was founded in 1993 and operates out of three manufacturing facilities across Canada. Based in Exton, PA and founded in 1962, Valley Forge Tape & Label Company is a longstanding, full-service manufacturer of custom printed self-adhesive labels for the Food and Beverage, Healthcare, and Consumer Products industries.
Sustana Fiber along with a group of prominent paper mills and end markets across North America signed a declaration of acceptance and a commitment to increasing recycling of paper cups. The group includes Essity, GP PRO, Graphic Packaging International, Great Lakes Tissue Company, ND Paper, Pratt Industries, WestRock and Sustana Fiber. These organizations representing 75% of mixed paper demand (by quantity consumed) in the U.S. and Canada are accepting paper cups. Seven companies with 25 paper mills actively accept residential mixed paper bales (ISRI grade 54) with paper cups included, while three companies with five facilities currently accept paper cups when included with aseptic and gable top cartons in carton bales (ISRI grade 52). Paper cups have a coating on the inside (for hot drink cups) or on both sides (for cold drink cups) that provides a liquid barrier to the fiber. Although the coating has long been seen as a reason not to recycle paper cups, several companies have conducted tests and determined that the coating does not present an obstacle to recycling the cups in their facilities. The mills use pulping systems that separate the coatings from the fiber, recovering the fiber with a 70% to 90% yield.
Tennessee’s Bear Hollow Mountain Wildlife Management Area officially just got bigger by 1,000 acres. The area is north of the Alabama border and an hour west of Chattanooga. The Associated Press reported that the new land connects the divided land. Thanks to the Conservation Fund’s land purchase in March 2021, the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency found time and money for the land purchase. The agency manages 125 wildlife management areas throughout the state. According to The Chattanoogan, The Conservation Fund worked in partnership with the Open Space Institute (OSI), The Nature Conservancy in Tennessee (TNC), and the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency (TWRA) to close the deal. The Nature Conservancy of Tennessee helped out with some donations. They came from the Riverview Foundation, the WestRock Foundation, and a private estate gift.
Graphic Packaging Holding Company announced that Maggie Bidlingmaier will join Graphic Packaging as EVP and President of the Americas business unit. Ms. Bidlingmaier was most recently President, Performance Solutions for Invista, a subsidiary of Koch Industries, where she led numerous multimillion-dollar global businesses within the flooring, apparel and airbag fiber segments. Prior to that, she was Vice President, Surfaces at Invista, following a successful career with Avery Dennison in global sales and marketing roles of increasing responsibility. President and CEO of Graphic Packaging, Michael Doss, commented, "Maggie's expertise in driving comprehensive vision shifts to accelerate growth and expansion complements our vision of growing with the best customers in the best markets and generating superior returns for our stakeholders. We look forward to Maggie's leadership in developing team dynamics that will drive our high-performance culture to the next level." Joe Yost, previously EVP and President, Americas, has been appointed EVP and President of the International business unit, based in Brussels. In this role, Mr. Yost will have responsibility for converting operations outside the Americas, including the Company's businesses in EMEA, Australia and New Zealand.
S&P Global and The Climate Service, Inc. announced today that S&P Global has acquired The Climate Service. Based in Durham, North Carolina The Climate Service, Inc. was founded in 2017. Since then, The Climate Service has won multiple awards for its innovative approach to analyzing climate risks, including winner of the 2021 ESG Investing Best Specialist ESG Data Provider award, New Wave Leader 2020 by Forrester and World Changing Ideas by Fast Company. The acquisition will add capabilities to S&P Global's leading portfolio of essential environmental, social, and governance (ESG) insights and solutions for its customers. Through this acquisition, S&P Global will be able to offer its clients even more transparent, robust and comprehensive climate data, models and analytics.
The Finnish Paperworkers’ Union has issued a new strike announcement to UPM, declaring that their strike at UPM’s Finnish mills will be extended by two weeks until 5 February 2022, unless new agreements are reached before that. The Paperworkers’ Union’s strike at UPM Pulp, UPM Biofuels, UPM Communication Papers, UPM Specialty Papers and UPM Raflatac units in Finland started 1 January 2022. “If the members of the Paperworkers’ Union want to continue the strike, they naturally have every right to do so. UPM’s goal continues to be to start business specific negotiations with the union as soon as possible. Negotiations are the only way forward. It is important that the negotiations for new agreements begin with a forward-looking mindset and determination to find the best solution for each business and its personnel” says Jyrki Hollmén, Vice President, Labour Markets at UPM. Just before the strike started, UPM received from the Paperworkers’ Union an email proposal for a new collective labour agreement, without any prior negotiation contact. The proposal was practically the same old collective agreement, which expired at the end of 2021. UPM, however, aims to have genuine interactive negotiations on the new terms of labour.
The European paper industry fully supports the EU ambition of making Europe the world’s first climate-neutral continent by 2050 and building a European circular economy. The carbon neutrality objective requires the European pulp and paper industry to become even more sustainable, efficient and innovative. The pledge has been taken by the industry as a whole, covering diverse products and materials made in the sector. Cepi, as the organisation representing the industry at EU level, will also leverage its existing networks within users of paper and forest fibre products, including many major companies with a global footprint. This will ensure that the pledge gains enough traction and has a real impact on climate neutrality, resource efficiency, and circularity. The new commitment is based upon three main pillars: *The achievement of full circularity performance for paper-based products and packaging. *The acceleration of innovation to replace fossil-based materials. *Ensuring responsible sourcing for paper-based products and packaging.
Rocket sport cap offers visual consumer safety through a yellow-colored band that indicates whether the packaging has been opened on store shelves or at home. This solution redefines beverage packaging safety standards as the first one in the market providing a visual and intuitive non-detachable tamper evidence indicator. “Aptar is dedicated to creating solutions based directly on consumer feedback,” Nguyen Hoang, Sebastien, global business development director beverage, said. “Rocket was born from consumer insights to offer visual safety that provides reassurance, in addition to an improved drinking experience that brings the comfort and convenience consumers value.” In addition to its visible safety, Rocket provides further safety to consumers with its “no-dust”, double-wall lid design that protects the spout from external contaminants, in addition to being designed to adhere to child safety standards (BSDA & EN 71*). A large finger recess and audible closing “click” sound makes opening and closing Rocket easy and reassuring for consumers.
The Association of American Publishers (AAP) released its StatShot report for November 2021 reflecting reported revenue for all tracked categories, including Trade (Consumer Books), K-12 Instructional Materials, Higher Education Course Materials, and Professional Publishing. Total revenues across all categories for November 2021 were up 8.3% as compared to November 2020, coming in at $1.3 billion. Year to date revenues were up 13.1%, at $14.3 billion for the first eleven months of the year.
Hearst announced it has agreed to acquire CellTrak, a leading provider of care documentation software solutions in the personal care market. The announcement was made by Steven R. Swartz, Hearst president and CEO; Gregory Dorn, MD, Hearst Health president; Scott Decker, Homecare Homebase president; and Dan Wacker, CellTrak CEO. Terms were not disclosed and the transaction is expected to close in Q1 of 2022. CellTrak will become a wholly owned subsidiary of Homecare Homebase, with Wacker continuing as general manager of the company. “In-home care services have grown significantly the past 10 years as it is the preferred venue for people to receive care, and Homecare Homebase has been the leading platform providing vital workflow solutions in the home health and hospice categories,” said Dorn. “Extending their capabilities to personal care is the right next step for caregiving in the home.”
Postal Regulatory Commission Chairman Michael Kubayanda announced the election of Commissioner Ann C. Fisher as vice chairman of the agency. PRC regulations state that the Commission elect a member to serve as vice chairman for a term of one year. In making the announcement, Chairman Kubayanda said, “Congratulations to Vice Chairman Fisher on her election to the vice chair role for 2022. She brings extensive experience and knowledge of postal issues to the position. I would also like to thank Commissioner Ashley Poling for her excellent service as vice chairwoman throughout calendar year 2021.” Vice Chairman Fisher was appointed commissioner of the PRC in August 2019 following her nomination by President Donald J. Trump and confirmation by the United States Senate. Her experience with postal issues spans close to 3 decades.
The publishing industry made it through 2020 in much better shape than most thought it would when the pandemic first emerged nearly two years ago. Though there were many challenges and some companies and segments of the industry struggled, most companies had good financial years, and overall industry sales were unexpectedly robust in 2020. With the hope that the negative effects of Covid-19 would ease in 2021, most industry members expected that the business would settle into something of a new normal last year. But that was not to be the case. The biggest story of 2021 was the ongoing impact the pandemic had on the industry. Virtual author tours, conferences, and fairs became standard practices in 2020, but there was hope that 2021 would eventually bring a return to in-person events—for the most part, however, those ideas were thwarted. During the summer, bookstores slowly began experimenting with live author appearances, usually held outdoors or in limited numbers indoors with masked customers. But as colder weather set in and different variants sprang up, in-person tours largely ended, and there's no certainty among the industry regarding when they might return in a significant way.
We begin 2022 with the announcement that Ben Gunneberg is departing PEFC after a long and distinguished career as Secretary General/CEO. “The PEFC global alliance is grateful for Mr Gunneberg’s outstanding service and commitment to PEFC, as well as his significant accomplishments over his distinguished tenure,” said Eduardo Rojas Briales, Chair of PEFC International. "Under his leadership, PEFC has made a real and measurable difference in forests around the world and in the lives of people who depend on these forests." Mr Gunneberg has been the leading advocate for PEFC and for our common objective of promoting sustainable forest management during his 22 years of service. We are deeply grateful for his unwavering dedication, loyalty, and outstanding service.
Greif, Inc. announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement to divest its 50% share in the Flexible Packaging joint venture, or "FPS" to Gulf Refined Packaging (GRP) for a total cash consideration of $123 million, subject to certain conditions and post-closing adjustments. Greif expects to use the proceeds for debt repayment. "While we have worked closely with our joint venture partner, each partner held different views of the appropriate path forward for the FPS business," said Pete Watson, Greif's President and Chief Executive Officer. "As a result, we entered into a process to determine a single owner and utilized our disciplined capital allocation framework that resulted in an agreement to sell our ownership stake to GRP for significant value. I would like to thank our FPS colleagues for their hard work over the last 11 years and for their continued commitment to the business during the transition ahead."
BillerudKorsnäs has been awarded the Climate Prize as part of the supplier engagement initiative “Join us in protecting the planet”, driven by Tetra Pak. The company, which is one of BillerudKorsnäs’ most important customers, launched this initiative last year to create a movement aimed to accelerate sustainability actions across its value chain. “We commit to making safe food available, everywhere. And we promise to do that in a way that protects what’s good: protecting food, people and the planet. In order to shape the future with secure and sustainable food systems we are decarbonizing the materials we use as well as the production processes, and the key ingredient for success here is collaboration. Our supply partner BillerudKorsnäs has achieved the lowest greenhouse gas emissions for the products provided to us and has submitted the most ambitious climate action plan, that is approved by the Science Based Targets initiative in line with a 1.5°C pathway. By doing this, they are one step ahead and this award recognises that they are leading by example in fighting climate change,” says Lars Holmquist, Executive Vice President for Sustainability & Communications at Tetra Pak.
What do Italy, Australia and India have in common? In each country, new regulations aimed at reducing packaging waste and promoting alternatives to plastic will come into force in 2022. While packaging is often necessary to protect products, everyone in the industry is looking for ways to reduce waste and overpackaging. This goal is complemented with efforts to make packaging more sustainable with renewable and recyclable materials. The quest for sustainability unites big brands with responsible consumers and – regulators around the world. In recent years, governments have responded to public concerns by devising rules that seek to tackle packaging waste – single-use plastics in particular – and improve recycling and waste management systems. Many of these new norms will become effective in the next years, creating a worldwide regulative trend that can help promote more sustainable packaging. Here’s a quick look into what various countries are currently doing to reduce packaging waste and how this affects companies and consumers.
Members of the Paperworkers’ Union, the Finnish Electrical Workers´ Union and the Trade Union Pro have this morning (1-Jan-2022) started strikes at UPM mills in Jämsänkoski, Kouvola, Lappeenranta, Pietarsaari, Rauma, Tampere and Valkeakoski. According to the unions, the strikes will continue until 6 o’clock on 22 January 2022 unless a new collective labour agreement is reached before that. The Paperworkers’ Union has not excluded any work from the strike, not even tasks critical to the society, such as operating and maintenance of water treatment and power plants. UPM businesses falling under the strikes are UPM Pulp, UPM Biofuels, UPM Communication Papers, UPM Specialty Papers and UPM Raflatac. The strikes do not concern UPM Plywood and UPM Timber, both of which signed business specific collective agreements with the Industrial Union in December. Furthermore, UPM Energy operates as usual, as it complies with the generally applied collective agreements of the energy industry.
Huhtamaki has acquired full ownership of its Polish joint venture company Huhtamaki Smith Anderson sp. z o.o. from Smith Anderson Group Ltd. (SA). The company manufactures and sells foodservice paper bags in Eastern Europe at Huhtamaki's facility in Czeladz, Poland. Paper bags have become an increasingly important part of Huhtamaki’s product offering and the acquisition enables the company to invest in and further grow the business in Eastern Europe. The purchase price for additional shares and related manufacturing equipment is approximately EUR 2 million. The business has been reported as part of the Foodservice Europe-Asia-Oceania business segment since beginning of operations in 2018.
Metsä Board, part of Metsä Group, purchases from Pohjolan Voima Oyj all the shares in Hämeenkyrön Voima Oy that it owns. Metsä Board has announced its plan to purchase the shares on 27 September 2021. In addition, Metsä Board will purchase from DL Power Oy, part of Leppäkoski Group, all the shares in Hämeenkyrön Voima Oy that it owns. Both transactions have been completed on 1 January 2022, after which Metsä Board will own 100% of Hämeenkyrön Voima Oy. The transaction will not have a significant impact on Metsä Board's key financial figures.
The United States Postal Service reported new service delivery performance metrics showing ongoing strong service for First-Class Mail and Marketing Mail, with a slight decline for Periodicals through the first 12 weeks of the fiscal first quarter. Since Thanksgiving, the Postal Service has accepted 11.1 billion pieces of mail and packages for delivery and anticipates it will deliver more than 12 billion pieces of mail and packages by New Year’s Day. First quarter-to-date service performance scores covering the period Oct. 1 through Dec. 24 included: *First-Class Mail: 89.8 percent of First-Class Mail delivered on time against the USPS service standard, an improvement of 1.24 percentage points from the fourth quarter. *Marketing Mail: 91.7 percent of Marketing Mail delivered on time against the USPS service standard, a slight decrease of .73 percent from the fourth quarter. *Periodicals: 81.2 percent of Periodicals delivered on time against the USPS service standard, a decrease of 1.57 percent from the fourth quarter. *Overall, the average number of days to deliver a mailpiece across the network was 2.7 days.
The ODP Corporation announced that it has sold its CompuCom Systems subsidiary to an affiliate of Variant Equity in a transaction valued up to $305 million. “This action represents an important step in continuing to align our business model and resources towards our core strategy,” said Anthony Scaglione, chief financial officer of The ODP Corporation. “By enhancing our core focus and leveraging our B2B assets and digital commerce platform, we are in an excellent position to maximize returns for our shareholders.”
Sonoco Recycling, one of the largest sustainable global packaging companies, announced it has acquired American Recycling of Western North Carolina, a privately owned recovered paper recycler located in Asheville, N.C. American Recycling of Western North Carolina is a privately owned business that processes approximately 30,000 tons of recovered fiber annually at its well-capitalized Asheville material recovery facility. The business expects to generate approximately $9 million in sales in 2021 and it is strategically located approximately 65 miles from Sonoco’s Newport, TN, uncoated recycled paperboard mill. “This acquisition provides Sonoco’s mill operations with a stable, lower-cost supply of recovered fiber with the opportunity to grow volumes in the region,” said Palace Stepps, Division Vice President and General Manager of Sonoco Recycling.
Ox Industries acquires York, SC-based York Industries Inc. York Industries is a leading producer of green protective packaging and paper tubes and cores, converting over 16,000 tons of uncoated recycled paperboard. Founded in 1989, York Industries is traded under Customer Paper Tube SE and Edgeboard SE brand names and is a regional supplier servicing customers in the Southeast US. “This acquisition further expands our geographic footprint of providing niche products that vertically integrate into our mill network. We look forward to working with the York team members and expanding the service and products for our customers.” CEO Kevin Hayward.
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."
Print marketing offers a blend of many offline marketing touchpoints in the customer journey that multiplies marketing performance when incorporated into a comprehensive optichannel strategy. This course will cover: *New technologies and data-powered print marketing techniques *Top design concepts to consider *The importance of brand consistency across channels *Research: The power of offline marketing in optichannel campaigns. During the Track 1 presentations, you'll hear from leading experts including: *Brent Niemuth, President & Partner, J. Schmid *Tim M. Curtis, President and CEO, CohereOne *Ray Van Iterson, USPS *Sabine Lenz, Founder, PaperSpecs *Lisa Cross, Principal Analyst, NAPCO Research *Chuck Schonert, Director of Research and Development, Idealliance. sign up at: https://lndnm.napco.com/20211213_BUU_WBNR_ELITE_6082_LP.html
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.