Today’s Catalyst, a Paper Excellence Company is formed of operations from predecessor companies that have their own rich histories.
The main branch of the family tree is British Columbia Forest Products Limited. Formed in 1946, it soon became one of the province’s largest integrated forest products companies. It was purchased in 1987 by Fletcher Challenge Limited of New Zealand and merged with BC company Crown Forest Industries. Fletcher Challenge Canada Limited was thereby established with a sharpened focus on pulp and paper.
In 2000, Norwegian paper company Norske Skog purchased all of Fletcher Challenge’s pulp and paper assets and the company name changed to Norske Skog Canada Limited.
The size of the company doubled in 2001 with the acquisition of Pacifica Papers – operator of paper facilities previously owned by MacMillan Bloedel - and the merged operation assumed the name NorskeCanada.
In 2003, Newstech Recycling was acquired to in-source the supply of de-inked pulp.
In 2005 the business was renamed Catalyst Paper to clearly differentiate the company with customers and to accurately reflect the capital ownership structure.
In 2006, Third Avenue Management acquired approximately 38% of the company’s stock following the exit of Norske Skog as a major shareholder.
In 2008, Catalyst acquired the Snowflake Mill, a 100% recycled paper production facility in northern Arizona, significantly increasing its recycled paper production capacity.
Over the next several years, Catalyst Paper worked intensively to rationalize its operations, reduce its costs, and ensure competitive product positioning in the midst of very challenging industry transformation. This involved closure of some facilities, including its two recycling operations.
Catalyst undertook a debt restructuring process in 2012, with the benefit of the cooperation of creditors, employees, operating communities and other stakeholders. The company emerged from creditor protection within only a few months, with new ownership, a much-strengthened balance sheet and further-reduced costs.
In 2015, Catalyst expanded into Mid-Western and Eastern United States by purchasing two of NewPage Corporation's pulp and paper mills in Rumford, Maine and Biron Wisconsin. This acquisition increased Catalyst's production capacity by 65% and positioned Catalyst as a leading producer of specialty coated printing papers in North America.
In 2018 (June 29), Catalyst completed the sale of the company’s U.S. operations to ND Paper, a wholly owned subsidiary of Nine Dragons Paper. The transaction includes Catalyst’s Rumford, Maine and Biron, Wisconsin mills along with the majority of the company’s U.S. operations center in Dayton, Ohio. Catalyst’s B.C. operations comprise of pulp and paper mills in Crofton, Port Alberni and Powell River, and its Surrey Distribution Centre.
In 2019, Paper Excellence Canada finalized the acquisition of Catalyst Paper Corporation on March 15, 2019. This included Catalyst's three mills located in Crofton, Port Alberni and Powell River, its Surrey Distribution Centre and headquarters in Richmond, BC. With this acqusition, Paper Excellence Canada's product range expands to include printing papers, speciality and packaging paper, and increases pulp production to service customers worldwide. After the completed transaction, Paper Excellence Canada now has 3,500 employees at 11 facilities.