International Paper announced it has entered into an agreement with The Prudential Insurance Company of America (NYSE: PRU) to purchase a group annuity contract and transfer approximately $1.3 billion of International Paper's U.S. qualified pension plan projected benefit obligations. The transaction will be funded with pension plan assets, and at the end of 2017, Prudential will assume responsibility for pension benefits and annuity administration for approximately 45,000 former employees or their beneficiaries receiving less than $450 in monthly benefit payments from the plan. The transaction is expected to close on October 3, 2017, subject to customary closing conditions. Click Read More below for additional detail.
Cascades inc. (TSX: CAS), a leader in the recovery and manufacturing of green packaging and hygiene products, is very pleased to announce that it has produced yesterday its first roll of 100% recycled containerboard at its Bear Island, Virginia mill.
With annual production capacity of 465,000 short tons of lightweight, high-quality, 100% recycled containerboard, the state-of-the-art mill is equipped to perform within the top quartile of its industry, and will strengthen the operational flexibility, geographic footprint, and competitiveness of Cascades’ Containerboard platform. The project created 700 jobs in the region during the construction phase, and 180 permanent jobs with the onset of commercial production.
“After the commissioning of the Greenpac mill nearly 10 years ago, the start-up of Bear Island marks another historic milestone in the strategic modernization of our mill network. More than ever, Cascades has modern and competitive assets that will allow us to pursue long term growth in packaging, on a North American scale,” said Mario Plourde, President and Chief Executive Officer of Cascades.
“Cascades would like to thank all its employees and partners who made this project possible, a feat made even more challenging given the difficult global context of supply chain issues. This project was the second largest in Cascades’ history, and we are very proud to have successfully converted this plant into a state-of-the-art mill that will allow Cascades to grow our market share and enhance service and our portfolio of sustainable solutions for our customers,” commented Charles Malo, President and Chief Operating Officer of Cascades Containerboard Packaging.
The Bear Island mill is now entering the ramp-up phase of the machine and will gradually increase its production to reach full capacity. An official inauguration will be held in the coming months.
Permanent closure of a paper machine at the Niagara Falls mill
Cascades is also announcing the permanent shutdown of paper machine number 2 at its Niagara Falls, New York mill, which had been temporarily shut down since November 2022. The machine, amongst the oldest in the Containerboard platform, has a production capacity of 90,000 short tons per year, and would require investments for it to remain competitive. The permanent closure of this machine will impact approximately 40 positions. The majority of these positions are currently vacant or will be subject to attrition in order to minimize the impact on the employees.