Employees of Dryden’s Domtar mill may be left questioning their futures after a $2.7 billion deal was announced last week.

The Paper Excellence Group, which owns Domtar, announced a $2.7 billion deal to purchase Resolute Forest Products last week. Resolute operates roughly 40 facilities in North America and would become a subsidiary of Domtar.

As well, Domtar is looking to sell their mills in both Dryden and Espanola to a third-party company due to expected regulatory requirements related to the deal, as the two companies are two of the largest pulp and paper manufacturers in Canada.

While employees went through a similar situation in 2021 after Domtar was purchased by the Paper Excellence Group based out of British Columbia, leadership is reminding staff members that day-to-day operations will remain the same.

“A well-run, safe, reliable operation that meets customers’ needs. That’s what brings value. That’s really the best thing to be done during a sale period,” explains Domtar’s Regional Public Affairs Manager, Bonny Skene.

“Having been through a number of [purchases] personally, and I know a lot of long-time employees at both Dryden and Espanola have been through multiple owners as well, the best thing we can do is to focus on base business – operating safely, well and reliably, and to meet customers’ needs.”

Skene adds leadership expects the deal to be completed within eight months to a year and is currently scheduled to take place in the first half of 2023, and is subject to approvals. As well, the third-party company to purchase Dryden and Espanola’s operations hasn't been found yet.

“Any sale process for such large operations is a complex process. It takes time,” she adds. “The best thing we can do is to focus on base business, operating safely and operating well. We’ll learn of what’s to come in due course as the process unfolds.”

Paper Excellence purchased Domtar and its facilities in May of 2021 after a $3 billion deal. Prior to the purchase, Paper Excellence operated 7 facilities in Canada with roughly 2,800 employees and an estimated $2.4 billion in sales.