Neenah Paper, Inc. today announced it had signed a definitive agreement to purchase all of the outstanding equity of ASP FiberMark, LLC ("FiberMark") from an affiliate of American Securities LLC for $120 million. With annual sales of over $160 million, FiberMark is a specialty coating and finishing company with a strong presence in luxury packaging and overlapping technical product categories. The company sells globally from six production facilities in the United States and one in the United Kingdom. "FiberMark is well known in the marketplace for its high touch service as well as a meaningful breadth of premium coated, textured and colored products. The acquisition adds new capabilities that will further accelerate our strategy to expand in targeted growth areas like premium packaging and performance materials, and complements previously announced strategic investments supporting the continued growth of our filtration business," said John O'Donnell, Chief Executive Officer.
Combatting illegal logging and trade within the European Union is the focus of an agreement signed between the NGO Elephant Action League and the partners of the EU TREES project – organizations focused on fighting wildlife and forest crime. The agreement, which will last until the end of the TREES Project in April 2016, will enable the TREES Project partners to make use of the Elephant Action League-funded WildLeaks whistleblower platform. WildLeaks will receive anonymous information related to any forest crime, such as illicit timber extraction, log laundering, illegal timber transport and trade, forest products tax fraud, etc., through its secure platform, after which the information will be processed by project researchers.
Iggesund Paperboard is adding its distribution service in Asia. The main aim is to shorten lead times and thereby give Asian customers better service. “We continuously evolve along customers’ needs and with it, we have set up a sheeting and warehousing capability in Taiwan –this will be operationally ready by end July 2015. This channel will strive to enhance on Invercote’s availability in the Asian market and will help Iggesund and our customers in gaining new businesses. “explains Ivan Chong, Business Area Director G&P, Asia Pacific. Iggesund is not just establishing a distribution channel in Asia. The company will also keep Invercote in stock and offer local sheeting from a service point in Taiwan in order to minimise lead times.
Brent crude for September was 5 cents up at $57.15 a barrel by 0825 GMT. The benchmark fell nearly 3 percent last week and is down more than 10 percent so far this month. U.S. crude futures for August, also known as West Texas Intermediate (WTI), were up 5 cents at $50.94 a barrel. The August contract expires on Tuesday. Oil prices have fallen for three weeks in a row on expectations of increased exports from Iran following a deal to ease sanctions against the OPEC producer. Investors are worried that a big oversupply of crude in many markets, that has been filling inventories towards record levels, will be exacerbated by more oil from Iran.
The second quarter’s operating margin of 10% was negatively impacted by the planned maintenance shutdown and the extra costs for implementation of the upgrade of the fluting machine in Gruvön, all in all approximately SEK 170 million. I am however content with the underlying result we produce. Overall the weak SEK continues to be positive for us. Our growth 2015 is largely driven by favourable currency developments, and our volumes have suffered partly due to investments and rebuilds. We have given priority to longer-term capacity enhancements rather than short term volume maximizations. Still our volume growth in business area Consumer Board for the first half of the year was 6% and above the plan. Our net debt/equity ratio increased to 0.62 due to our dividend pay-out. Return on capital employed improved to 12% and we continue to close in on our targeted 13%, so overall we are performing well in line with our targets.
64 percent of millennials said brands that include environmental-related information on labels influence their perceptions of a company, compared to about half of Gen Xers (51 percent) and baby boomers (54 percent). 59 percent of millennials are more likely to recommend a brand or product if it includes sustainability/environmental-related information, versus 46 percent of Gen Xers and 48 percent of baby boomers. 56 percent of millennials say including sustainability information on product labeling can influence whether they purchase a product, compared to 42 percent of Gen Xers and 47 percent of baby boomers.
Containerboard production was 1.2 percent higher compared to June of last year. The month-over-month average daily production compared to May 2015 was 2.9 percent higher. The containerboard operating rate for June increased slightly to 97.4 percent from May’s 97.2 percent.
Total Kraft paper shipments were 149.3 thousand short tons, 5.8 percent higher compared to June 2014. Bleached Kraft paper shipments increased from 8.4 thousand short tons in May 2015 to 10.9, while unbleached Kraft paper shipments remained increased from 131.5 thousand short tons to 138.4. Overall, shipments for the first half of 2015 were essentially flat compared to the same period in 2014. Total month-end inventories decreased to 73.4 thousand short tons.
Mohawk, the New York-based paper manufacturer, will celebrate the opening of its new South Hadley envelope manufacturing center on Tuesday that is expected to bring 70 new jobs. The July 21 event starting at 9:30 a.m. takes place on 28 Gaylord St., where Mohawk Northeast Envelope Converting Center has its operation here. They are the country's biggest privately owned manufacturer of fine papers, envelopes and specialty substrates. Mohawk operations include commercial and digital printing, and their officials describe the South Hadley venture as "new, world-class envelope converting facility."
The Ningbo city government is planning to shut down APP China's 600,000 tonne/yr cartonboard mill there to reduce air pollution. The mill, run by APP China subsidiary Ningbo Zhonghua Paper, has three cartonboard PMs. In 2014, local authorities announced a four-year plan to tackle the air pollution issue. The city has specified that some offending plants should be shut down or relocated by 2017. For the Ningbo Zhonghua mill, the authorities propose to permanently retire PM 1, and relocate the two bigger PMs.