2013-05-23 / Front Page

FutureMark 1 year old

After purchase, business looks good for paper mill

MANISTIQUE – FutureMark Paper Group, is celebrating the one year anniversary of the acquisition of Manistique Papers. FutureMark – Manistique is now the sole North American producer of exclusively 100 percent recycled uncoated printing and packaging papers.

Since the completion of the sale in May 2012, the FutureMark – Manistique facility has completed 24 new hires, representing a 20 percent increase in its staff. In addition, the facility’s management has implemented new maintenance programs and purchased new production equipment, with plans for additional capital investment to further improve product quality and production efficiency.

“It has been a rewarding experience to join the FutureMark Paper Group team,” stated Jon Johnson, executive vice president and general manager of FutureMark – Manistique. “Our facility has made significant strides in the first year to increase production, improve quality and expand the workforce with individuals who take pride in being part of an environmentallyfocused company. We have many projects on the horizon to further enhance the unique position the Manistique mill has as a 100 percent recycled specialty paper producer.”

As a result of the improvements made, the FutureMark – Manistique facility has added 60 new customers over the course of the year, and reached a 5-year high in total tonnage of recycled paper manufactured per day.

“We are very pleased with the results of our new banking relationship with FutureMark Paper Group and The Watermill Group,” said Kelly George, president and CEO at mBank, the lead lender and facilitator in the sale of Manistique Papers. “This was a tremendous undertaking by all involved, and the various teams worked tirelessly to ensure a smooth transition and positive results for the mill, as well as the community in whole. We look forward to the future growth of the mill and our ongoing relationship with The Watermill Group and wish them great success.”

FutureMark’s Manistique facility is a 72-acre manufacturing site that can produce up to 500 tons of recycled pulp per day and approximately 130,000 tons per year of uncoated, 100-percent recycled paper.

The mill originally opened in 1920 as a newsprint producer. It began using old newspapers as a fiber source in 1959 and switched to using exclusively recycled fiber in its products in 1984. Approximately 14 years later, the facility benefited from a $13 million investment to enable it to produce high-brightness specialty papers.

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