Employees Acquire Appleton
Luca Paveri-Fontana, chairman of Arjo Wiggins Appleton, adds that he was pleased that Appleton Papers employees were able to buy the company. "I know the people of Appleton to be a talented and dedicated team. I wish them every success in their efforts to grow their company."
Buth also states the buyout could not have occurred without personal commitment from Appleton Papers employees to the company's plans for growth and development. "The quality of our people and their dedication to taking care of our customers are the greatest strengths of our company. Our employees have made us successful in the past, and I am confident that we will continue that success in the future."
Appleton Papers selected State Street Global Advisors, a division of State Street Bank & Trust Co. of Boston, to serve as the ESOP trustee. The trustee plays a pivotal role in creating and operating the ESOP. The trustee is considered the ESOP shareholder and has fiduciary obligations to act in the best interest of plan participants.
The ESOP provides employees with a beneficial ownership interest in the company. The trustee appoints an independent attorney and a valuation firm to help address those fiduciary responsibilities. Those advisors work as a team with the trustee to determine the fairness and appropriateness of purchasing stock for the ESOP, as well as the ongoing valuation of the company.
The trustee will appoint a seven-member board of directors to govern Appleton Papers. Management directors will be Buth, who will serve as chairman and CEO; Dale Parker, Appleton Papers' vice president of finance and CFO; and Paul Karch, vice president of law and public affairs and the company's general counsel.
Outside directors will be Nicholas Davis, Richard Kenney and William Sikora. Davis is president of Montana Investment Advisors, Bozeman, MT. Kenney is a business consultant from Wisconsin Rapids, WI. He served as CFO for Consolidated Papers prior to its acquisition by Stora Enso in 2000. Sikora is a business consultant based in Houston. The fourth outside director is yet to be named.