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After sale, Glatfelter division gets new name

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Glatfelter's Spring Grove plant.
Glatfelter's Spring Grove plant. - (Photo / )

Glatfelter has closed on the sale of its specialty papers division, which the buyer has rebranded as Pixelle Specialty Solutions.

Lindsay Goldberg, a New York investment firm with experience in the paper industry, closed its purchase of the division on Oct. 31. The firm is paying $323 million in cash and assuming $38 million in retiree health care liabilities.

Lindsay Goldberg will be assuming about $220 million in pension liabilities and will receive $270 million in related assets from the company’s existing pension plan, a news release said.

According to a statement from the firm, Lindsay Goldberg has invested in two other paper companies, Crown Paper and Golden West Packaging, and plans to continue to build value in Pixelle - which is the name of a copier-paper line made by the former Glatfelter division.

While specialty papers was one of Glatfelter’s biggest divisions, it was not its most profitable. The division had sales of $783 million in the 12 months ending June 30 and employs about 1,800 people, including about 750 at its plant in Spring Grove, according to Glatfelter.

"We’re buy-and-build investors focused on building excellent paper businesses," Pixelle Chairman Steven Klinger said in an emailed statement. "By the time we’ve invested in a company, we’ve already begun identifying their strengths and developing plans to leverage them."

Klinger says that the strengths of the newly branded Pixelle Specialty Solutions lie in its product portfolio and relationships with customers. He added that the next step will be to improve the company's efficiency and productivity.

Glatfelter’s specialty papers division, now Pixelle, makes food contact papers, high-speed inkjet papers, release liners, carbonless forms, envelopes, greeting cards, trade-book paper and playing cards.

Pixelle President Tim Hess said that changes are planned to keep Pixelle products competitively priced. 

"We have already identified numerous investments to improve efficiency and productivity, and we are ready to begin executing," Hess said. "Specifically, we’ll target pulp mills, our largest paper machine, a pulp mill crystallizer and new starch systems."

As part of its purchase, Lindsay Goldberg is taking over two mills, in Spring Grove and Chillicothe, Ohio; converting operations in Fremont, Ohio; and woodyard operations in Delmar, Maryland; Piketon, Ohio; and Washington, West Virginia.

Based in York, Glatfelter has said it will use the proceeds from the sale to pay down debt and for general corporate purposes.

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Ioannis Pashakis

Ioannis Pashakis covers health care and Lancaster County. Email him at ipashakis@cpbj.com.

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