WestRock Co. has agreed to purchase recycled fiber company SP Fiber Holdings, continuing a recent spate of paper industry mergers and consolidations.
WestRock – itself the product of a recent merger between two industry giants, RockTenn and MeadWestvaco – will pay $288.5 million to acquire SP Fiber Holdings, the company announced Aug. 11. The deal is subject to regulatory approval.
SP Fiber Holdings produces recycled containerboard and kraft and bag paper at mills located in Dublin, Ga. and Newberg, Ore. The company makes 100 recycled fiber products for end use in consumer and corrugated packaging.
As part of the deal, WestRock also acquires SP Fiber’s 48 percent stake in a renewable energy joint venture called Green Power Solutions of Georgia, which provides energy to Georgia Power and steam to SP Fiber’s paper mill in Dublin.
“The Dublin and Newberg mills will balance the fiber mix of our mill system, and the addition of kraft and bag paper will diversify our product offering,” WestRock CEO Steve Voorhees stated in the announcement. “We expect to apply our operating capabilities to improve the cost structure of both mills. As a result, our mill system will be better positioned to serve the increasing demand for lighter weight containerboard and kraft paper.”
WestRock is the second largest paper and paperboard firm in North America, behind International Paper. It already operates recycled paper mills in 10 states in the eastern half of the country and it recovers and recycles roughly 7 million tons of fiber per year.
SP Fiber Technologies says it has 556 employees and produces 2,200 tons of packaging and 500 tons of newsprint per day.
A WestRock spokeswoman said the company doesn’t comment on the negotiations of any transaction.