Mohawk Fine Papers to Close Beckett Mill in Ohio

Oct. 26, 2011 - Mohawk Fine Papers' CEO Tom O’Connor on Oct. 24 announced that the company will close its Beckett Mill in Ohio at year-end.

The following is a written message from Mr. O'Connor published on the company's web site:

"In a move designed to realign our manufacturing platform to meet the needs of a changing market, Mohawk Fine Papers has announced today that it plans to close the Beckett Mill in Hamilton, Ohio at the end of the year. The shutdown would include the mill’s three paper machines and would affect 137 union and salaried employees.

"This was a very difficult decision. Our employees at Beckett have done everything asked of them and we are grateful for their efforts and contributions. Our decision reflects the realities of today’s market and our belief that the changes in communications technology and print impacting our businesses are both fundamental and permanent.

"Mohawk expects uninterrupted supply as we transition manufacturing of current products from Beckett to our paper mills in Cohoes and Waterford, New York. We will continue to operate our envelope, converting and warehouse/distribution facilities in Saybrook, Ohio, along with warehouses in California, Washington, New York, and the Netherlands.

"Going forward, Mohawk’s Writing, Text and Cover paper business will be a solid base to build on, given the right mix of manufacturing and distribution assets, which we will now have in place. These changes will allow us to stay ahead of the pace of change by continuing to provide the right products for today’s market.

"We know that you rely on our differentiated brands like Strathmore, Superfine, Via and Loop and have also heard your need for consolidation. We are on track to bring further, meaningful product consolidation to market in Q1 2012, which will make our entire offering more focused, easier to inventory, specify and sell. As we have demonstrated with previous product consolidations, our customers should also have the confidence that their favorite and most used items will continue to be available to meet their needs.

"On the digital side, our recent acquisition of Bravo Digital Solutions combined with our high-performance digital papers and new MakeReady service platform gives us the industry’s only comprehensive product and service offering for the digital printer, and strengthens our leadership position in this rapidly growing segment. Our consumer-facing photo products business, Pinhole Press, is rapidly emerging as a lifestyle brand in the photo space. We will continue to invest in the technology and marketing necessary to support these growth businesses and offer new products and services to our customers.

"These changes, though painful, will allow us to accelerate our transformation to the new Mohawk, serving customers worldwide with premium papers, digital substrates, photo products, services and education."

SOURCE: Mohawk Fine Papers