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The Globe and Mail

Cascades to shut Quebec paper-making facility

President and CEO Alain Lemaire Cascades with his successor Mario Plourde at a press conference in Montreal March 26, 2013.


Cascades Inc. – reputed for its success at transforming abandoned or ailing mills into money-makers – says it can no longer make a go of it at its paper-making facility in East Angus, Que.

The decision means about 175 employees will lose their jobs, Kingsey Falls, Que.-based Cascades said on Wednesday.

Cascades says the Kraft paper manufacturing activities at Kingsey Falls will be shut down because of "unfavourable market conditions and the failure of discussions concerning the plant's transfer and turnaround."

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The company is pulling out of the Kraft paper sector permanently, it said.

"With the arrival of new competitors that convert newsprint paper machines to produce Kraft paper, and the ongoing weakening of market conditions for our products, the East Angus plant has not managed to maintain a competitive edge in the market despite significant investments and serious recovery efforts," Luc Langevin, president and chief operating officer of Cascades Specialty Products Group said.

Cascades took the money-losing facility – whose roots go back to 1881 – off the hands of Domtar Inc. in 1983.

The Eastern Townships company, founded by members of the Lemaire family 50 years ago, said it offered the plant to employees on a debt-free basis but that after several months of talks with would-be partner Gino Lévesque and the Quebec government failed to produce a financial package, the project was abandoned.

"Naturally, we are very disappointed that the project failed," Cascades president and chief executive officer Mario Plourde said.

Cascades specializes in using recycled fibre to make packaging and tissue paper.

The company's coated boxboard manufacturing plant in East Angus is not affected by the shutdown of the paper mill.

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