2012 Nonwovens Sales: $228 million
Key Personnel: Marko Rajamaa, senior vice president, nonwovens; Michael Brown, nonwovens sales manager—Americas and Far East; Norbert Busch, nonwovens sales manager— Europe and Middle East
Plants: North Carolina; Steinfurt, Germany
This will be the last year Buckeye will appear on its own in this report. In April 2013, the company announced it would be acquired by Georgia-Pacific, also a major player in the airlaid nonwovens and pulp markets, and this deal was approved as a merger agreement by stockholders in August.
Upon closing of the transaction, Buckeye will become an indirect, wholly owned subsidiary of Georgia-Pacific. Buckeye stockholders will receive $37.50 per share in cash.
“This transaction enables our stockholders to realize significant value, while also representing an important next step in the growth of Buckeye Technologies,” says John Crowe, chairman and CEO. “We are pleased that Georgia-Pacific recognizes the significant value of our company’s special and unique assets, talented employees, and research and development capabilities. Georgia-Pacific’s acquisition of Buckeye will provide our company and our employees with exciting future growth opportunities. We will continue to execute on our business plan in partnership with a committed new owner that has a long history of delivering superior business performance through its dedication to operational excellence and innovation.”
During the year ended June 30, 2013, Buckeye reported its nonwovens sales decreased from $239 million to $228 million due to the sale of the company’s Merfin Converting business in January 2012. Operating income nearly doubled from $11 million to $22 million thanks to a large reduction in fixed manufacturing costs from the closure of Buckeye’ Delta, B.C. airlaid facility in December 2012.
Buckeye announced it would close the Delta site in June 2011, saying it no longer made sense to operate the facility because of its unfavorable location relative to customers and raw material suppliers as well as low capacity utilization. In 2010, Buckeye consolidated the site by closing one of its two lines but this measure failed to make the facility cost efficient.
Output at the Delta site has been transferred to Buckeye’s two existing sites—one in North Carolina and one in Steinfurt, Germany.