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Atlas Holdings closes acquisition of Thunder Bay pulp and paper mill

Century-old legacy mill will operate under Thunder Bay Pulp and Paper banner
Resolute's former Thunder Bay pulp and paper mill is now under new ownership (TBayNewswatch photo)

The new incoming Connecticut owners of Thunder Bay’s pulp and paper mill have finalized its acquisition from Resolute Forest Products.

The mill will serve as an affiliate of Greenwich-headquartered Atlas Holdings under the banner of Thunder Bay Pulp and Paper Inc. The sale was first announced in May.

Kent Ramsay, who has served as mill general manager since 2019, has been elevated to president of the northwestern Ontario operation.

A landmark on Thunder Bay’s skyline for more than a century, the mill is considered a leading northern bleached softwood kraft and northern bleached hardwood kraft pulp, paper, newsprint and directory producer. 

"The Atlas team has been working hand-in-hand with our local team to prepare for this day as we begin the next chapter of this mill's storied history,” said Ramsay in an Atlas news release.

“I am proud to continue to lead this team and work with Atlas to stand up the mill as a thriving, self-sufficient pulp and paper operation and continue our legacy as a hallmark of the Thunder Bay community for many years to come.”

Atlas is a $16-billion-a year revenue generating multinational enterprise. Its 27 companies employ more than 50,000 in 300 facilities worldwide in sectors such as automotive, building materials, capital equipment, construction services, food manufacturing and distribution, metals processing, packaging, paper, power generation, printing, pulp, supply chain management and wood products. 

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Daniel Merriam, principal at Atlas, stated he was looking forward to building on the mill’s “heritage as a trusted employer in the region and reliable industry player.”

"Atlas has successfully partnered with experienced Leadership Teams to acquire, strengthen and operate many pulp and paper businesses since our founding more than two decades ago, including several in Canada, and we are excited by the opportunity to bring our team's experience to further the legacy of this mill as Thunder Bay Pulp and Paper."

Named as chairman of the board of this new affiliate is Randy Nebel, a paper and packaging executive who previously served as head of Verso Corp., a leading North American producer of graphic, specialty and packaging paper and market pulp, and a president of Longview Paper & Packaging, a leading manufacturer of high-quality containerboard, corrugated products and other specialty papers. 

"The board is looking forward to guiding Thunder Bay Pulp and Paper in this new era for the business. Our deep experience across the pulp and paper industry and time spent supporting businesses with Canadian operations will provide the right foundation and guidance for Thunder Bay as we continue to be a trusted employer as well as a reliable partner to our customers, suppliers, and the Thunder Bay community," commented Nebel.