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Rayonier Sells Airlaid Business

October 20, 2005

Rayonier, the maker of Novathin airlaid absorbent core material, has entered into an agreement to sell its Engineered Absorbent Materials business (EAM Corporation) to a New York-based private equity firm. The division will continue to operate under its current management and the Engineered Absorbent Materials Corporation banner after the transaction with Kinderhook Industries closes in mid November.

“While EAM has developed into a successful global niche business, its relatively small size is not an ideal fit in our product portfolio and we believe the business will be better positioned to grow independently,” said Paul Boynton, senior vice president, Performance Fibers, at Rayonier. “The sale provides an opportunity for us to invest the proceeds into higher-return projects to benefit our Performance Fibers business.”

EAM’s trademarked NovaThin absorbent cores, developed through Rayonier’s research and development efforts, are used in feminine hygiene, adult incontinence and other absorbent consumer applications. Kinderhook executives said they will continue to expanding NovaThin’s sales through the division’s experienced management and state-of-the-art manufacturing assets.

A major producer of high performance specialty cellulose fibers, Rayonier will continue to expand pilot production for its Xcel fibers, a cellulosic acquisition fiber that can be applied with conventional diaper manufacturing equipment.
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