It looks like the staff of Dryden’s Domtar mill will be under a new set of ownership sometime next year after a convoluted deal between Paper Excellence, Resolute Forest Products and a still-to-be-determined third party company.

Announced last week, British Columbia’s Paper Excellence Group has signed a $2.7 billion deal to buy Resolute, which will continue to operate as a standalone entity. Resolute operates roughly 40 facilities in North America and would become a subsidiary of Domtar.

Paper Excellence also purchased Domtar and its facilities in May of 2021 after a $3 billion deal. Prior to the purchase, Paper Excellence operated 7 facilities in Canada with roughly 2,800 employees and an estimated $2.4 billion in sales.

But when Paper Excellence purchased Domtar in 2021, they were ordered by the Competition Bureau of Canada to sell a Domtar mill in Kamloops, BC, to address any potential ‘monopoly’ concerns in that region of BC, noting the two companies are some of the largest pulp manufacturers in Canada.

Now, as Paper Excellence plans to acquire Resolute, Domtar plans to sell their mills in both Dryden and Espanola to a third-party company due to anticipated regulatory requirements related to the deal, which is expected to close in the first half of 2023, subject to approvals. 

Domtar, based out of Montreal and South Carolina, has an estimated 6,600 employees in 50 countries and has reported annual sales of $3.7 billion through their 13 pulp and paper mills, as well as their 10 manufacturing facilities.

However, the COVID-19 pandemic was tough for the company, as Domtar reported a net loss of $29 million through the first quarter of 2021 after a $59 million loss to close out 2020. But Domtar’s shares soared by roughly 50 per cent after last year’s sale of the company.