MOSINEE, Wis., Aug 25, 2008 -- Wausau Paper today announced that it will permanently shut down paper machine number 10, one of the two paper machines at its Specialty Products mill in Jay, Maine on or prior to December 31, 2008 in response to dramatically increased input costs and difficult market conditions. Number 10 paper machine, with a capacity of 40,000 tons annually, presently serves the release liner market and a variety of smaller niche markets. The shutdown is expected to impact approximately 150 of the 235 employees currently at the facility.
"While the release liner market remains a strategic focus for Wausau Paper, the high cost structure of the liner machine at our Otis mill has made it uncompetitive in today's business environment," commented Thomas J. Howatt, president and CEO. "While we regret the impact this decision will have on so many of our dedicated and loyal employees, it is a decision made in keeping with our commitment to address underperforming areas of our business and to deliver acceptable returns to our shareholders. This move is in keeping with our strategic marketing plan for Specialty Products that focuses on tape backing grades, high performance release liners and food service and food packaging markets."
Pre-tax charges associated with the shutdown of number 10 paper machine are estimated to be $10 million with non-cash charges, primarily related to the write-down of long-lived assets, accounting for approximately $6 million of this total. Pre-tax closure charges of $3 million are expected in the third quarter with remaining charges occurring during the fourth quarter. After considering income taxes and an anticipated reduction in working capital, the impact of the shutdown is expected to be cash-neutral on a cumulative basis.
WhatTheyThink is the global printing industry's leading independent media organization with both print and digital offerings, including WhatTheyThink.com, PrintingNews.com and WhatTheyThink magazine versioned with a Printing News and Wide-Format & Signage edition. Our mission is to provide cogent news and analysis about trends, technologies, operations, and events in all the markets that comprise today’s printing and sign industries including commercial, in-plant, mailing, finishing, sign, display, textile, industrial, finishing, labels, packaging, marketing technology, software and workflow.