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Cascades buys Urban Forest Products pulp factory in Newton County

A Canadian company buys the  Urban Forest Products factory in Brook.

Cascades Inc. acquired the Urban Forest Products pulp packaging factory in Newton County and two other American companies for $37.4 million.

Rob Richards, general manager of the plant in Brook, said the deal would mean new ownership, a name change, more capital for improvements, and greater possibility for growth. The Newton County plant, now known as Cascades Moulded Pulp-Indiana, will remain open and continue to employ 80 workers.

It makes protective pulp packaging for the quick-service restaurant industry and eggs. Indiana is one of the top egg-producing states in the nation.

The new owner, Quebec, Canada-based Cascades, calls itself “a leader in the recovery and manufacturing of green packaging and tissue products.” The 54-year-old company employs more than 11,000 workers across North America and Europe.

In conjunction with the Urban Forest Products purchase, it also acquired Clarion Packaging in Iowa and a majority interest in Falcon Packaging in Iowa, Ohio, and Georgia.

"These acquisitions give us the opportunity to improve Cascades' position in the strategic fresh protein and food services packaging markets,” Cascades President and Chief Executive Officer Mario Plourde said.

“They are also in line with our objective to expand our molded-pulp activities, which produce a recycled, recyclable, compostable and biodegradable packaging product that offers highly interesting opportunities against a backdrop of expanding interest in the circular economy. The value of this transaction is in line with current Cascades trading multiple and will be accretive to net earnings.”

The three companies have sales that exceed $110 million a year, and their acquisition doubles Cascades’ production capacity of molded-pulp ecological packaging.

"The quality of the acquired assets and their complementary geographical positioning with our existing plants that manufacture molded-pulp packaging will allow us to improve the service we provide to our customers and support our innovation initiatives,” Cascades President and Chief Operating Officer Luc Langevin said.

“With four molded-pulp plants efficiently spread out across North America, Cascades will build synergy, improve the distribution of production volumes, and allow certain sites to specialize. By doubling our production of moulded-pulp packaging, today's announcement underlines our commitment to continue growing our presence in the green packaging market."


Business Reporter

Joseph S. Pete is a Lisagor Award-winning business reporter who covers steel, industry, unions, the ports, retail, banking and more. The Indiana University grad has been with The Times since 2013 and blogs about craft beer, culture and the military.