York, Pennsylvania, USA, 27 October 2011 – Glatfelter (NYSE: GLT), a leading global supplier of specialty papers and fiber-based engineered materials, today announced capacity expansion plans for its Composite Fibers business unit, which serves the growing global tea and single serve coffee markets, among others.
The company will invest USD 50 million at its Gernsbach, Germany, facility to expand its inclined wire capacity by nearly 20%, or approximately 10,500 short tons, by converting a conventional flat wire paper machine to a state-of-the-art inclined wire paper machine used to manufacture filter papers for tea bags and single-serve coffee applications, and certain composite laminate products and technical specialties.
Dante C. Parrini, chairman and chief executive officer, said, “Shipments for our Composite Fibers business have increased by approximately 20% over the past two years, led by the strong worldwide demand for beverage filter papers. While our continuous improvement initiatives have generated significant incremental capacity, the rapid growth of this business is simply outpacing our organic capacity gains. This expansion will not only allow us to continue to meet the growing demand of our market-leading customers with sophisticated and innovative products, but it will solidify our leading position in this rapidly growing, global category.”
The project will take place primarily in 2012; the new machine is expected to begin production in the first quarter of 2013. The company expects to achieve a 15% to 20% return on this investment within three years, has ample liquidity to fund the project, and expects it will be financed from cash balances or the company’s revolving credit facility.
Headquartered in York, Pennsylvania, Glatfelter is a global manufacturer of specialty papers and fiber-based engineered materials, offering more than a century of experience, technical expertise, and world-class service. U.S. operations include facilities in Spring Grove, Pennsylvania and Chillicothe and Fremont, Ohio. International operations include facilities in Canada, Germany, France, the United Kingdom, and the Philippines, a representative office in China, and a sales and distribution office in Russia. Glatfelter’s sales approximate USD 1.5 billion annually and its common stock is traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol GLT. Additional information is available at www.glatfelter.com.