Domtar and all of its properties have been sold to Canadian processing rival Paper Excellence, in a $3 billion U.S. all-cash deal. The sale is expected to close in the second half of 2021.
In a prepared statement, Paper Excellence says they will continue operating Domtar as a stand-alone entity, and will continue to be led by its senior management team, once the sale is finalized.
“We are excited to add Domtar and its employees to the Paper Excellence global family. This marks a major step in our global strategy of identifying well-positioned assets and positioning them for growth,” said Paper Excellence’s CFO, Joe Ragan.
Domtar’s corporate offices are based out of Montreal and South Carolina, with about 6,600 employees in 50 countries, 13 pulp and paper mills and 10 manufacturing facilities. They’ve reported their annual sales at about $3.7 billion.
“We have long admired Domtar’s expansive global footprint and believe that it will be a valuable addition to Paper Excellence. We look forward to investing in Domtar’s assets and people for long-term growth,” added Ragan.
Paper Excellence, meanwhile, is a privately held company based out of British Columbia with about $2.4 billion in annual sales from their seven manufacturing facilities in Canada. They currently employ about 2,800 people.
Through the first quarter of 2021, Domtar reported a net loss of $29 million with $944 million in sales. That’s an improvement over the $59 million loss in the fourth quarter of 2020, but a significant drop from the net earnings of $5 million reported in the first quarter of last year, prior to the pandemic.
“This agreement enables our shareholders to realize certain and immediate cash value at a significant premium for their shares,” said John D. Williams, President and Chief Executive Officer of Domtar.
“Our dedicated employees have been instrumental to Domtar’s success and I am glad to see that this transaction supports the strategy that our team has worked so hard to develop over the last several years,” continued Mr. Williams. “As part of Paper Excellence, we will build on that momentum.”
Domtar’s share prices soared nearly 14 percent, a 2.5 year high, after the announcement Tuesday afternoon. That’s in addition to rising about 19 percent earlier this month after merger discussions were revealed to members of the media and the public. Overall, Domtar’s shares have seen a roughly 50 percent increase in 2021.