Kaukauna’s Expera sold to Finnish firm

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Posted by of Insight Publications

A Finnish company is purchasing Expera Specialty Solutions LLC for $615 million.

Ahlstrom‐Munksjö signed a definitive agreement to purchase all shares of Expera, a leading North American manufacturer of specialty paper products for the industrial & technical, food packaging and processing, and pressure‐sensitive release liner sectors.

Headquartered in Kaukauna, Expera has mills in De Pere, Rhinelander and Mosinee and employs approximately 1,800. No significant changes are expected for workers.

“We are very excited about this next strategic and important step for the Expera business,” Expera CEO Russ Wanke said in a statement. “As we transition to joining Ahlstrom‐Munksjö, we remain committed to our core strategic imperatives related to our people and our customers. Ahlstrom‐Munksjö will provide additional capital and resources in order to promote continued revenue growth and customer, end‐application and geographic diversification.”

KPS Capital Partners purchased Thilmany Papers LLC and Wausau Specialty Papers in 2013 to create Expera.

Wanke said the sale is good news for the company.

“Ahlstrom‐Munksjö will provide additional capital and resources in order to promote continued revenue growth and customer, end‐application and geographic diversification,” he said.

Headquartered in Helsinki, Ahlstrom‐Munksjö employs an estimated 6,000 people.

Outagamie County Executive Thomas Nelson said the purchase provides long-term stability for the paper and pulp industry not only in Kaukauna, but in the other communities as well.

“Ahlstrom-Munksjo has a well-respected worldwide and industry-wide reputation. They are considered an industry strategic-buyer and that should mean long- term investment, translating into good-paying family-supporting jobs for generations right here in the Fox Valley,” he said in a statement.

The deal is expected to close before the end of the year.