Spokane Journal of Business

Clearwater Paper to close Georgia plant

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Clearwater Paper Corp., of Spokane, announced this morning it plans to close a tissue converting and distribution facility in Thomaston, Ga., a small city located about 60 miles south of Atlanta.
The company said in a press release that it plans to move most of the equipment used at the Thomaston facility to Clearwater facilities in Shelby, N.C., and Oklahoma City.
The plant will be shut down gradually, and parts of it will continue to operate through the first quarter of 2014.
A total of 150 people currently work at the plant. Displaced workers will be able to apply for jobs at other Clearwater facilities. Also, the company said it's offering separation-and-incentive pay for employees who remain at Thomaston until their established final day of work.
The company said it expects the total cost of the plant shutdown to be between $6 million and $7 million, but the cost-savings benefits are expected to be fully realized beginning in the fourth quarter of 2014.
In mid-February, Clearwater posted 2012 earnings of $64.1 million, or $2.72 a share, up from $39.7 million, or $1.66 a share, in 2011. The increase in profitability occurred despite a drop in net sales, to $1.87 billion last year from $1.93 billion the prior year.

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