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SMART Papers to wind down ops; seeking new ownership

Press release from the issuing company

SMART Papers Holdings said today it has started an orderly wind-down of its SMART Papers business and its SMART Power energy production facility. The carefully planned and executed wind-down process allows for a seamless transition period for all current customers.

SMART Papers recently finalized the sale of the majority of its manufacturing and power generation operating assets at the Hamilton facilities to a joint-venture led by Farmington Hills, Michigan-based Hilco Industrial. SMART Power owns and operates a new, 36-megawatt power generation facility at the Hamilton papermaking center, located 25 miles northwest of Cincinnati.

Hilco and SMART have entered into an exclusive marketing and business alliance under which Hilco, working closely with SMART Papers, will jointly market the operating assets and business while SMART Papers continues to actively run its papermaking facility in Hamilton.

Hilco and SMART Papers could identify new ownership that would acquire the business and continue to operate it.

SMART Papers Chairman Tim Needham said veteran executive Andrew Howley has been retained as CEO to lead the wind-down of the company and day-to-day management of the business.

Paul Simpson, SMART Papers EVP of Sales and Marketing, will work with customers through the orderly wind-down of operations to support customer orders. Simpson said the company's full range of products will be available during the transition period.

Needham said today's action "is not a reflection on our dedicated, hard-working employees who remain committed to manufacturing the finest coated printing, label and packaging papers in the world."

"Unfortunately, the continued U.S. economic slowdown has intensified the effects of reduced commercial printing demand," Needham said. Other factors that he said led to the company's decision include the "rapid expansion of low-priced Asian coated paper manufacturing, the increased costs of raw materials and chemicals, and the uncertainty on cost requirements of pending EPA legislation."

Andrew Howley, principal of Howley Associates LLC, has 25 years of experience in corporate restructuring and business leadership as an executive for public and private companies in the U.S. and worldwide. Howley served as chief restructuring officer for Krispy Kreme Doughnut Corp. (NYSE: KKD) and as CFO for Spalding/Top-Flite. He also had a multi-year senior advisory role for Xerox Credit Corp., assisting them in winding down a $1 billion-plus leasing portfolio in the U.S. and Europe.


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