Blue Wolf, Atlas Exit Northern Resources

Blue Wolf Capital Partners and Atlas Holdings exited Northern Resources Nova Scotia Corp., selling it to a strategic buyer in Paper Excellence Canada Holdings Corp. Specifics on the transaction and bankers were not disclosed.

PRESS RELEASE:

NEW YORK, NY, May 12, 2011 – Blue Wolf Capital Partners LLC (“Blue Wolf”) and Atlas Holdings LLC (“Atlas”) completed the sale of Northern Resources Nova Scotia Corporation (“Northern Resources”) to Paper Excellence Canada Holdings Corp of Vancouver, B.C., Canada, the firms announced today. Northern Resources is the parent company of Northern Pulp Nova Scotia, the Pictou County kraft pulp mill, and Northern Timber, which owns Nova Scotia forest land. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Atlas and Blue Wolf acquired the company from Neenah Paper in 2008 amidst uncertainty about the mill’s future as a result of very difficult business conditions in the forestry sector worldwide. Since then, Northern Pulp’s workforce has improved efficiency and productivity and local management has worked closely with stakeholders to stabilize the business.

From 2008 to 2010, the mill’s annual production increased 13%, from 249,030 tonnes to 282,100 tonnes, while the company’s safety performance improved to the best performance in the mill’s 44 year history, with 258 consecutive days without a lost-time incident. During this time period, a $15 million investment in the mill, securing $28 million in federal Green Transformation funding, a $1 million investment in R&D, the acquisition of forest land for active management and a commitment to work with Pictou Landing First Nation on economic development have been instrumental in the mill’s resurgence.

“Our investment in Northern Resources exemplifies Blue Wolf’s investment strategy of creating value through responsible investing,” said Adam Blumenthal, Managing Partner of Blue Wolf. “Together with Atlas, management, employees, First Nations and local government and residents, we have restructured an underperforming business, improved environmental standards, and invested in R&D, which has resulted in improved stability and growth that benefits the community’s many stakeholders as well as our investors.”

“We’ve found everyone associated with the mill and community to be interested in and committed to building a strong and sustainable business,” said Tim Fazio, Managing Partner with Atlas Holdings. “We are pleased to transfer ownership to Paper Excellence Canada and believe their strategic focus and substantial technical and financial resources will ensure the long-term competitiveness of the mill.”

“We have been impressed by Northern Pulp’s operations, employees, and the quality of stakeholder relationships and partnerships,” says Ed Roste, Vice President Operations, Paper Excellence Canada. “We welcome Northern Resources into the Paper Excellence family.”

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About Atlas Holdings LLC
Atlas Holdings LLC is an industrial holding company with 60 operations in the United States, Canada and Europe employing more than 5,000 people. Its businesses are engaged in a broad spectrum of sectors, including building materials and wood products, pulp and paper manufacturing, packaging, capital equipment, alternative energy and industrial services. For additional information, please visit www.atlasholdingsllc.com.
About Blue Wolf Capital Partners
Blue Wolf Capital Partners LLC is a private equity firm that seeks to create and increase value in middle market companies. Blue Wolf often invests when it can address financial or operational distress, or constructively resolve issues arising from corporate governance or relations with government entities or labor unions. For additional information, please visit www.blue-wolf.com.

About Paper Excellence Canada Holdings
Paper Excellence Canada Holdings is a wholly owned subsidiary of Paper Excellence BV, a global network of independently managed pulp and paper companies, working together to maximize production efficiencies and promote market growth opportunities across the Group. The Group currently employs over 2,000 direct employees and supports thousands more through economic ripple effects worldwide. The Group’s aggregated production capacity is close to 2 million ADT of pulp and 530,000 tons of paper products. Paper Excellence is recognized for its commitment to its surrounding community, environmental stewardship, clean technology and sustainability.