Press Releases

KPS Capital Partners Portfolio Company, Expera Specialty Solutions Acquires Old Town Fuel & Fiber

Dec 08, 2014

New York, NY (December 8, 2014) – KPS Capital Partners, LP (“KPS”) announced today that its portfolio company Expera Specialty Solutions, LLC (“Expera” or the “Company”) has acquired certain assets related to the Old Town Fuel & Fiber pulp mill (“Old Town”). Expera acquired the assets free and clear of substantially all liens, claims, encumbrances and interests through an auction conducted as part of a sale process under Section 363 of the United States Bankruptcy Code. The U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Maine formally approved the transaction on December 5, 2014.

KPS formed Expera in May 2013 as a platform for investments serving the specialty paper products for the food packaging, industrial and pressure-sensitive release liner segments. At that time, KPS also announced Expera’s first two acquisitions, the specialty paper business of Wausau Paper Corp. (NYSE: WPP) and Thilmany, the specialty paper business of Packaging Dynamics Corporation.

Founded more than a century ago and located in Old Town, ME, Old Town is a high-quality pulp mill with the capacity to produce annually 200,000 tons of Northern Bleached Kraft pulp. The mill closed indefinitely in August 2014. Expera intends to invest significant capital and resources into Old Town to restart the mill and ensure the highest level of production quality and capacity.

Raquel Palmer, a Partner of KPS, said, “KPS created Expera to consolidate the specialty paper industry. In only a brief 18 month period, the new, integrated Expera is the largest specialty paper company in North America. The Company’s growth trajectory and financial performance has exceeded our expectations. The acquisition of Old Town demonstrates the Company’s commitment to leading the specialty paper industry. We are thrilled that Expera’s acquisition of the assets of Old Town and restart of the mill will save more than 150 premium manufacturing jobs that were lost, and provides the community with a stable and profitable employer. Expera’s conservative capital structure, coupled with its access to KPS’ material capital resources, positions the company to grow aggressively both organically and through acquisitions.”

Russ Wanke, Chief Executive Officer of Expera said, “I’m excited to welcome the Old Town employees back to work and to the Expera family. Expera is a financially strong enterprise with an excellent platform positioned for expansion and growth. Under Expera, Old Town will have significant top-line stability and will benefit from our commitment to continuous improvement and manufacturing excellence. Old Town provides Expera with added internal capabilities, allowing us to deliver to our customers more product innovation and even better service.”

Critical to the success of this acquisition was the support of the United Steelworkers.

Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton and Garrison LLP and Pierce Atwood LLP served as legal counsel to Expera and KPS.

About Expera

Expera is a leading North American manufacturer of specialty paper products for use in the pressure-sensitive release liner, industrial and food packaging segments. Headquartered in Wisconsin, Expera employs approximately 2,000 people across five manufacturing facilities located in Rhinelander, WI, Mosinee, WI, Kaukauna, WI, De Pere, WI, and Old Town, ME. Additional information regarding Expera, its manufacturing facilities and its product offerings can be found at www.experaspecialty.com.

About KPS Capital Partners

KPS, through its affiliated management entities, is the manager of the KPS Special Situations Funds, a family of investment funds with over $11.5 billion of assets under management (as of October 15, 2019).  For over two decades, the Partners of KPS have worked exclusively to realize significant capital appreciation by making controlling equity investments in manufacturing and industrial companies across a diverse array of industries, including basic materials, branded consumer, healthcare and luxury products, automotive parts, capital equipment and general manufacturing.  KPS creates value for its investors by working constructively with talented management teams to make businesses better, and generates investment returns by structurally improving the strategic position, competitiveness and profitability of its portfolio companies, rather than primarily relying on financial leverage. The KPS Funds’ portfolio companies have aggregate annual revenues of approximately $8.3 billion, operate 134 manufacturing facilities in 26 countries, and have approximately 28,000 employees, directly and through joint ventures worldwide. The KPS investment strategy and portfolio companies are described in detail at www.kpsfund.com.

← Back to Press Releases

footer-logo

485 Lexington Avenue, 31st Floor
New York, NY 10017
T: 212.338.5100 | F: 646.307.7100

The information set forth in the materials on this site is as of June 30, 2019 and does not purport to be a complete summary of KPS or its investments. No representation, warranty or undertaking, express or implied, is given as to the accuracy or completeness of the information or opinions contained in such materials. No reliance may be placed for any purpose on the information and opinions contained in such materials or their accuracy or completeness and nothing in such materials may be relied upon in making any investment decision. Certain information on or linked to from this site is furnished by or is derived from materials furnished by outside sources. KPS does not assume responsibility for independent verification of such information and has relied on such information being complete and accurate in all material respects. Any information presented by outside sources represents the understandings and opinions of such outside sources, which may differ from those of KPS. Any statements and quotes from third-parties are not selected on the basis of any performance-based data. Any performance information included in any document on or linked to from this site is presented for illustrative purposes only and is not indicative of the future returns of any of the funds managed by KPS and there can be no assurance that such funds will achieve comparable results, be able to avoid losses or be able to implement their investment strategies.

For information on our data processing practices, please read our privacy policy here.