SLA: New Ownership for Gorham NH Paper Mill

HIGH-PERFORMANCE TISSUE PLANT WILL CONTINUE 130-YEAR PAPER-MAKING LEGACY. NO WORD ON REVIVING RAIL SERVICE.

Gorham NH mill
The independent Gorham NH mill has had a succession of owners since 2011. New owner Behrens Investment Group acquires a competitive tissue-production facility. The site has been more-or-less active since opening in 1852 as a sawmill. Paper production began in 1891. The current SLA rail line was built in the late 1850s as the Atlantic & St. Lawrence RR, then shortly was integrated into the Grand Trunk system operating between Montreal QC and Portland ME.

05.January, Gorham NH – Gorham Paper and Tissue was acquired by Behrens Investment Group. In addition to the $8.75 million cash purchase price, the new owner also assumed ~$9.8 million in loan debt and local tax liabilities. The facility will now be known as White Mountain Paper Company.

 

GPT, under the ownership of Patriarch Partners (including its subsidiary White Mountain Tissue) filed bankruptcy in November.2020. In the bankruptcy filing, GPT identified total debts of at least $50 million. Operating through bankruptcy with about 100 salaried and hourly employees, the mill produces 30,000 tons of “parent roll” tissue and paper towel a year for the private label market.

Until 2006, the Gorham Mill had been served by the St. Lawrence & Atlantic railroad, and was one of long-time anchors of the Grand Trunk branch. The tracks have not been maintained. The cost to rehabilitate the tracks is likely prohibitive.

Behrens managing partner Evan Behrens said in in a statement that his firm will “significantly modernize the facility’s power, water and civil infrastructure to position the mill, and its state-of-the-art White Mountain tissue machine, as a leader among North American tissue and towel producers.”

Price Howard. president of Global Management Partners of Greer, S.C, has been appointed CEO of White Mountain Paper. {Nip Impressions 05.Jan.2021}

Dating to 1852, the Gorham mill is one of the oldest operating paper mills in North America. Patriarch Partners purchased the mill in 2011 after it had been shuttered for several months by the previous owner, Fraser Paper. In 2012, Patriarch installed a new $35 million tissue machine at the plant. In 2018, the three collateralized loan funds used to acquire the distressed assets filed for bankruptcy.

Girham tissue mother roll
A paper towel “parent roll” is offloaded from the end of the White Mountain Paper manufacturing machine,  in the background. The $35 million state-of-the-art crescent former tissue machine can produce up to 36,000 tons a year. With a 130-year paper-making history, the mill will continue as one of North America’s only independent parent roll tissue suppliers. {GTP}
Machine Capability: Basis Weight (lbs): 9.2 – 20; Trim (in): 101 – 106; Diameter (in): 55 – 72; Core size (in): 12
Primary Grades: Premium ES Bath Tissue (88 Bright, Enhanced Softness); Premium Bath Tissue and Towel (88 Bright); Premium 100% Recycled Bath Tissue and Towel (84 Bright, 60% PCW)