The Gores Group, LLC, a leading Los Angeles-based private equity firm, today announced that it led an investor group that includes Dermot Smurfit, a paper and packaging industry veteran, in the acquisition of the Cosmopolis high purity cellulose mill from Weyerhaeuser Company (NYSE: WY). Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
“The Cosmopolis mill has a wonderful heritage of producing very high quality products and we are delighted to operate this mill alongside a management team that has substantial experience restarting and managing similar mills,” said Jordan W. Katz, managing director of The Gores Group. “We are proud to be leveraging our resources to restore the Cosmopolis mill and create new jobs in the Cosmopolis area.”
Located in Cosmopolis, Washington, the high purity cellulose (dissolving wood pulp) mill will operate under the name of Cosmo Specialty Fibers, Inc. Gores will commence a complete refurbishment and restart of the mill, the closure of which was announced by Weyerhaeuser in October 2005.
Dermot F. Smurfit, chairman of the board of Cosmo Specialty Fibers, Inc. added, “The mill’s primary products, namely viscose and acetate, are currently in tight supply worldwide and we see strong growth prospects for the products over the next few years. Gores’ strong operational expertise and focus, combined with the experience of Richard Bassett and his team, which will help refurbish the mill and lead the sales efforts, will ensure a successful restart of the mill and position the asset to achieve its full potential.”
“We are extremely pleased to have completed the sale to Gores and its partners,” said Dan Fulton, president and chief executive officer of Weyerhaeuser. “We understand the importance of the mill as an economic driver to not only the city of Cosmopolis, but the surrounding community as well, and look forward to helping with a smooth transition of ownership. The Gores Group and its partners bring a vast and diverse set of experience and we wish them well in this new venture. Finally, we would like to thank the governor and the state and local elected officials in the community for their continued efforts and support for the re-opening of the mill.”
Over the next weeks, the new company will announce the employment application process.
About The Gores Group, LLC
The Gores Group, LLC is a private equity firm with USD 2.9 billion of capital under management that is focused on acquiring controlling interests in mature and growing businesses which can benefit from the firm's operating experience and flexible capital base. The firm combines the operational expertise and detailed due diligence capabilities of a strategic buyer with the seasoned mergers and acquisitions team of a traditional financial buyer. The Gores Group, LLC, which was founded in 1987 by Alec E. Gores, has become a leading investor having demonstrated over time a reliable track record of creating substantial value in its portfolio companies alongside management. Headquartered in Los Angeles, The Gores Group, LLC maintains offices in Boulder, Colorado, and London, UK. For more information, visit www.gores.com.
About Weyerhaeuser Company
Weyerhaeuser Company, one of the world’s largest forest products companies, began operations in 1900. The company grows and harvests trees, builds homes, and makes a range of forest products essential to everyday lives. Weyerhaeuser manages its timberland on a sustainable basis in compliance with internationally recognized forestry standards. At the end of 2009, the company employed approximately 14,900 employees in 10 countries, had customers worldwide, and had generated USD 5.5 billion in sales for the year. Weyerhaeuser stock trades on the New York Stock exchange under the symbol WY. Additional information is available at www.weyerhaeuser.com.