Asia Pulp and Paper a potential buyer of Newpage paper mill
Four contenders have come forward, including two that would close the mill permanently and sell the machinery. Asia Pulp and Stern Partners Inc. would keep at least one machine going and save perhaps 250 jobs, industry sources said. More details of the bids were expected late Friday. Ernst & Young, monitor for NewPage Canada, has until Jan. 20 to decide which offer to select.
U.S.-based NewPage won court protection from creditors in the U.S. and Canada earlier this year, seeking ways to restructure its debt and counter the impact of rising fibre, energy and other input costs.
Early this year Asia Pulp bought Northern Pulp in Nova Scotia, saving 230 jobs. It began moving into Canada via European subsidiary Paper Excellence N.V. two years ago, restarting the mothballed Mackenzie mill in British Columbia, and bought the shell of Domtar Corp.ās Prince Albert, Sask., mill for conversion to dissolving pulp, and two Tembec Inc. pulp mills in France.
In the West Catalyst Paper Corp., a producer of newsprint and specialty papers, delayed a $21-million (U.S.) interest payment while seeking alternatives for its capital structure. It has $840 million U.S. of debt and has begun talks with holders of two note issues.Analysts said it plans a broad debt restructuring.
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