SMART Papers Business Being Wound Down, Assets Up for Sale

HAMILTON, OH—Oct. 13, 2011—SMART Papers Holdings has started an orderly wind-down of its SMART Papers business and its SMART Power energy production facility. The carefully planned and executed process will allow for a seamless transition period for all current customers.

SMART Papers recently finalized the sale of the majority of its manufacturing and power generation operating assets at the facilities in Hamilton, OH, to a joint-venture led by Farmington Hills, MI-based Hilco Industrial. SMART Power owns and operates a new, 36-megawatt power generation facility at the Hamilton papermaking center, located 25 miles northwest of Cincinnati.

Hilco and SMART have entered into an exclusive marketing and business alliance under which Hilco, working closely with SMART Papers, will market the business’ operating assets while SMART Papers continues to actively run its papermaking facility in Hamilton.

Hilco and SMART Papers could identify new ownership that would acquire the business and continue to operate it.

SMART Papers Chairman Tim Needham said veteran executive Andrew Howley has been retained as CEO to lead the wind-down of the company and handle day-to-day management of the business.

Paul Simpson, SMART Papers evp of sales and marketing, will work with customers through the orderly wind-down of operations to support customer orders. Simpson said the company’s full range of products will be available during the transition period.

Needham said today’s action “is not a reflection on our dedicated, hard-working employees who remain committed to manufacturing the finest coated printing, label and packaging papers in the world.”

“Unfortunately, the continued U.S. economic slowdown has intensified the effects of reduced commercial printing demand,” Needham said. Other factors that he said led to the company’s decision include the “rapid expansion of low-priced Asian coated paper manufacturing, the increased costs of raw materials and chemicals, and the uncertainty on cost requirements of pending EPA legislation.”

Andrew Howley, principal of Howley Associates LLC, has 25 years of experience in corporate restructuring and business leadership as an executive for public and private companies in the U.S. and worldwide. Howley served as chief restructuring officer for Krispy Kreme Doughnut Corp. (NYSE: KKD) and as CFO for Spalding/Top-Flite. He also had a multi-year senior advisory role for Xerox Credit Corp., assisting them in winding down a $1 billion-plus leasing portfolio in the U.S. and Europe.

About SMART Papers Brands

SMART Papers is the only North American producer of cast-coated paper and its brands are environmental leaders in their categories. Kromekote cast gloss print, label and packaging papers are a world-renowned brand with 80 years of history and continuous R&D. The papers are produced using a low-pressure wet-casting process and used in commercial offset printing, digital printing, label and packaging applications.

About Hilco Industrial
Hilco Industrial provides industrial asset disposition services, specializing in selling machinery, equipment and inventory auctions and negotiated sales. It sells the broad range of industrial assets found in manufacturing, wholesale and distribution companies through on-site, online and combination “webcast” auction sale events as well as negotiated (private treaty) sales. Hilco Industrial maintains offices in key cities worldwide. It is a unit of Hilco Trading, LLC, an international leader in asset valuation, acquisition, disposition and advisory services.

About SMART Papers
SMART Papers is North America’s largest manufacturer and marketer of environmentally responsible, premium cast-coated and matte-coated papers. Brands marketed worldwide include Kromekote, Knightkote Matte, SMART Matte and SMART Digital. Customers include specialty and technical converters, OEMs, label manufacturers, laminators, label and packaging printers, gift and box wrap printers and greeting card companies.

SMART Papers produces printing papers guaranteed to run on all major digital print engines including those by HP, Xerox, Kodak, Canon, Epson, Oce and Ricoh. Mohawk Fine Papers is the marketer of SMART Papers products through the North American paper merchant channel.

Source: SMART Papers.