RUMFORD — The Catalyst paper mill officially has a new owner and a new name.
ND Paper, a subsidiary of Nine Dragons Paper of Hong Kong, announced Friday that it had completed the purchase of paper mills in Rumford and Biron, Wisconsin, and an operations center in Ohio from Catalyst Paper Corp. for $175 million.
They’re Nine Dragons’ first mills in the U.S.
“We are very excited about the new products, team members and new business opportunities we can create with this acquisition,” ND Paper CEO Ken Liu said in a news release. “We look forward to working with the teams and local communities in Maine, Wisconsin and Ohio to expand our industry leadership globally.”
What will now be known as ND Paper – Rumford Mill employs about 620 people.
When the sales agreement was announced last month, the company said there would be no layoffs and talked instead about future investment and expansion. A spokesman said Friday that nothing had changed since that announcement.
Nine Dragons Paper is the largest containerboard producer in China. Containerboard is commonly used in cardboard boxes.
A national paper industry analyst said last month that he was already hearing talk about Nine Dragons converting Rumford from coated paper production to containerboard, for which there is a growing market.
The company declined to comment beyond saying it plans to evaluate “the strengths and capabilities of the mills in order to understand what appropriate investments may be needed to enhance the mills’ competitiveness globally.”
The new sign outside the ND Paper – Rumford Mill, formerly Catalyst, in Rumford. ND Paper announced Friday that it had completed its purchase of paper mills in Maine and Wisconsin. (Submitted photo)
A Nine Dragons Paper of Hong Kong subsidiary announced it closed on the sale of the Rumford paper mill and two other properties on Friday. (Sun Journal file photo)