The Cascades company announced Tuesday the sale to a new company of its fine paper activities, including the Rolland stationery and the Saint-Jérôme processing center.
In addition to the famous jérômienne paper factory and the industrial park facilities where paper cutting and packaging has been carried out since 1998, the transaction includes Fibers Breakey, a deinking ink pulp unit, located in Sainte-Hélène- de-Breakeyville.
In total, these three production units employ 425 people, including 375 in Saint-Jérôme. The new owner is a recently created company, Les Entreprises Rolland, a subsidiary of HIG Capital, an investment company based in the United States and active in both America and Europe.
The sale amounted to $ 39.5 million, a rather modest sum which suggests that Cascades no longer really cared about this division. “This price suited both parties,” said Cascades spokesman Hugo D’Amour.
Management stays in place
Cascades clarified that the current management team will remain in place. The president and chief operating officer of the new company is also Daniel Parrot, who already headed the fine papers division at Cascades.
Cascades will also continue to collaborate with the new owner, in particular for the supply of its waste paper, “so that the transfer of ownership takes place smoothly for the employees, customers and suppliers of Rolland”.
“Despite the positive contribution of these units to results, we have chosen as a strategic orientation to favor growth in the packaging, tissue and recovery sectors,” said Cascades President and Chief Executive Officer Mario Plourde.
Already in 2011, our newspaper had reported the possibility that the Rolland stationery would be sold. Cascades confirms today that it was looking for an investor and claims to have found in HIG Capital “an acquirer wishing to maintain the activities and ensure the development of the units”.
In this context where the new owner is dedicated to the production of fine papers, the Jerome facilities should be the subject of new investments, while within Cascades, they found themselves in competition with many other factories in this regard.
“We believe that this transaction will allow the factories concerned to pursue their development initiatives and continue to promote the Rolland brand all over the world,” added Luc Langevin, president and chief operating officer of Cascades Specialty Products Group. .
132 years of history
The Rolland paper company was founded in 1882 in Saint-Jérôme by Jean-Baptiste Rolland. It has long been one of the main employers of the city, of which it is still today a true heritage symbol.
While becoming a public company listed on the stock exchange, it remained mainly in the hands of the Rolland family until 1992, when Cascades acquired it after a long tussle with the Rollands.
Founded in 1964, Cascades works in the fields of manufacturing, processing and marketing of packaging products and papers composed mainly of recycled fibers. The company has more than 12,000 employees working in more than a hundred operating units located in North America and Europe.
A welcome transaction
As of this morning, the telephone operator of the Saint-Jérôme stationery replied “Rolland companies hello!” », The name Cascades having already disappeared from his welcome message.
Yesterday Tuesday (the July 1 holiday having been postponed to Monday), representatives of Cascades and the new employer met with the staff and union leaders of the two facilities in Jérôme to announce the transaction.
According to what the newspaper learned, it was rather well received by the employees. It must be said that they had been aware for some time of the possibility of a sale of the factory, given the objective of Cascades to focus henceforth on its packaging and tissue paper products. In this sense, the conclusion of a sale would even represent a relief at the end of a period of uncertainty.
Long-time employee of Rolland, city councilor Mario Fauteux himself welcomes the arrival of a new owner who, he says, will invest in the factory. “This is good news for Saint-Jérôme,” he says.
Mr. Fauteux, who has 36 years of service at Rolland, is particularly pleased that the buyer wishes to preserve the heritage of this company, which is over a century old, in particular by retaining the name Rolland.
Cascades keeps land
Important fact: the transaction does not include the land and buildings owned by Cascades on the left bank of the Rivière du Nord, opposite the factory and accessible by the former rue Rolland.
For the time being, the new owner of the paper mill will continue to occupy offices there, but these will eventually be moved to the factory. The same is true for employee parking, which will also be transferred to the plant side.