Graphic Packaging to Sell Augusta Paperboard Mill in Georgia to Clearwater Paper


20 February 2024


Graphic Packaging Holding Company and Clearwater Paper Corporation, today announced that Graphic Packaging has signed a definitive agreement to sell its Augusta, Georgia bleached paperboard manufacturing facility to Clearwater Paper.

The transaction value is approximately $700 million, based on Adjusted EBITDA of approximately $100 million.

"Augusta is an outstanding asset with a great team, which we concluded is a more compelling fit with Clearwater Paper's strategic growth plans than our own," said Michael Doss, President and Chief Executive Officer of Graphic Packaging. "Bleached paperboard plays a major role in sustainable consumer packaging, and we will continue to service growing foodservice and packaging demand with bleached paperboard from our Texarkana facility."

Arsen Kitch, CEO of Clearwater Paper, added, "Augusta is a great fit with our strategy and improves our position as a premier, independent paperboard supplier to North American converters. I look forward to welcoming the Augusta team to Clearwater Paper as we work together to build a more scaled paperboard business to service our customers."

The transaction is subject to regulatory approvals and is currently expected to close in the second quarter of 2024.

About Clearwater Paper

Clearwater Paper is a premier supplier of private brand tissue products and bleached paperboard. The company's tissue serves private brand market retail customers including grocery, club, mass merchants, and discount stores. The company's paperboard operations serve quality-conscious printers and packaging converters, with services that include custom sheeting, slitting, and cutting. Clearwater Paper's employees build shareholder value by developing strong relationships through quality and service.

Graphic Packaging Holding Company (NYSE: GPK), headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia, is a leading provider of sustainable, fiber-based packaging solutions to food, beverage, foodservice, and other consumer products companies. The company operates on a global basis, is one of the largest producers of folding cartons and fiber-based foodservice packaging in the United States and Europe and holds leading market positions in coated recycled paperboard (CRB), coated unbleached kraft paperboard (CUK) and solid bleached sulfate paperboard (SBS).

About the Augusta Mill

PaperAge editor's note: The Augusta mill was developed in 1960 by Continental Can Co. It was acquired by Federal Paper Board Co. in 1985 and by International Paper in 1996.

In January 2018, Graphic Packaging completed a combination with International Paper's North America Consumer Packaging Business in which Graphic Packaging owned 79.5% of the partnership and was sole manager, while International Paper owned 20.5%. The Augusta mill, which produces solid bleached sulfate (SBS) paperboard, came with the deal. After acquiring the mill, Graphic Packaging made significant upgrades at the mill in a multi-phase approach, improving its overall operations and the quality of the bleached paperboard the mill manufactures.

Source: Paperage