von Drehle Buys Laurel Hill Tissue Mill in North Carolina

May 16, 2007 - The von Drehle Corp. said that it has purchased the assets of Laurel Hill Paper Company in Cordova, North Carolina.

The deal includes Laurel Hill's mill facilties, which house two paper machines as well as six converting lines. The mill has a capacity of over 50,000 tons per year of tissue an towel paper.

In February, Laurel Hill Paper filed a voluntary petition for reorganization under Chapter 11 with the US Bankruptcy Court for the Middle District of North Carolina, Greensboro. The company then received approval on April 24 from the Court to sell its business at auction May 15 if any bidder topped a $22.7 million opening bid submitted by von Drehle Corp, according to a Bloomberg.com news report.

Laurel Hill listed $44.4 million in assets and $67 million in debt just after filing its Chapter 11 petition, the Bloomberg report said.

Although the exact purchase price was not disclosed, Von Drehle spokesman Jon Thomson told PaperAge that the $22.7 million bid for the Cordova mill was slightly adjusted due to reduced inventory levels—among other things—at the time of the transaction.

von Drehle said significant capital investments are planned to upgrade the Laurel Hill facility with the first paper machine coming on-line in thirty to sixty days. In addition, a second machine is scheduled to start-up in the first quarter of 2008.

Seventy-five to one hundred new employees will be added to keep the facility running at capacity, the company said.

The von Drehle Corporation is a supplier of towel and tissue products for the away-from-home market. The company is based in Hickory, North Carolina.

SOURCE: von Drehle Corporation and Bloomberg News

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