Mondi Group Buys Paper Business Including Pine Bluff Plant

by Arkansas Business Staff  on Thursday, Jun. 5, 2014 9:25 am  

(Photo by Google Maps)

A South African firm said Wednesday that it has acquired the bags and kraft paper business of Graphic Packaging International Inc. for $105 million. Mondi Group's purchase includes the integrated kraft paper mill in Pine Bluff.

Graphic Packaging International is a subsidiary of Graphic Packaging Holding Co.

In a news release, Mondi Group called the subsidiary "a leading player in the production and distribution of kraft paper and bags." The Pine Bluff mill has production capacity of 135 thousand tons per year.

The deal includes eight other bag plants in the United States. Mondi said the business has sales of $437 million for the year ended March 31.

"The combination of the business with Mondi's existing network will create a leading bags player in North America and expand the Group’s growing global footprint in this market," David Hathorn, Mondi's CEO, said in a news release. "We look forward to offering innovative solutions to our enlarged customer base."

Mondi is a global supplier of kraft paper and industrial bags, operating a network of 36 industrial bags plants in Europe, the Middle East, North Africa, South-East Asia and North America, including four plants in Mexico and the U.S. It also has five kraft paper mills in Europe that produce more than 1 million tons per year.

The Pine Bluff plant, at 3501 Jefferson Parkway, was established in 1962. It changed hands twice before Temple-Inland merged with Graphic Packaging in 2012.

Graphic Packaging's chairman, president and CEO said the deal completes his company's transformation to a "pure play, vertically integrated paperboard packaging company."

"The divestiture will free up valuable resources which we can redirect to further accelerate global growth in our core paperboard packaging business," David Scheible said.

The deal is expected to close late second quarter or early in the third.



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