Uptown Greenville, NC


Attend’s Ownership to Change

By K.J. Williams
The Daily Reflector

August 17, 2011 - Ownership of Attends Healthcare Products Inc., is expected to change hands before the end of September, an official said Tuesday.

Domtar Corp. announced Monday that it would pay $315 million, including debt assumption, to acquire the Greenville plant that makes and ships incontinence products.

Domtar, a paper company, already has been providing Attends with a “fluff” pulp product for manufacturing from its Plymouth pulp mill, formerly owned by Weyerhaeuser Co.

“So now there's going to be a nice partnership for the two companies,” Leo Corbin, director of human resources at Attends, said Tuesday. “A strategic buyer has bought us so it should provide some stability for our company.”

In Domtar's news release, John Williams, president and chief executive officer, said the pending acquisition will give Domtar entry into a growth market.

“We believe there is the potential to double Attends' earnings within five years, and we are committed to unleashing the great organic growth potential,” he said.

“This is a good transaction that allows us to take measured steps into the consumer products market in a product area where high single-digit global growth is expected.”

Michael Fagan, president and chief executive officer at Attends, will continue to run the business that employs more than 300 people and has annual sales of about $200 million.

“With strong commitment and support, the new ownership structure will allow us to realize the full potential of Attends,” Fagan said in the release.

Corbin said business will proceed as usual at Attends after it's no longer owned by KPS Capital Partners LP, an investment company.

“Right now, the plan would be not to change anything,” Corbin said. “We're going to act as an autonomous unit of Domtar.”

He said that Domtar, a worldwide Fortune 500 company with about 9,000 employees, perceives Attends as a ongoing good fit for some of its pulp product.

“It's very exciting for our business, and I think Domtar is excited, too,” he said. “This is their first inroad into consumer products.”

Domtar is the largest integrated manufacturer and marketer of uncoated freesheet paper in North America and the second-largest producer in the world. It also produces three types of pulp.

Contact K.J. Williams at kwilliams@reflector.com or 252-329-9588.