Appvion Completes Sale to Lender Group Led by Franklin Advisers


Appvion Completes Sale to Lender Group Led by Franklin Advisers

Paper Industry Veteran and Longtime Director George W. Wurtz III Appointed Chief Executive Officer

Former Appvion Executive Jim Tyrone Named Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing

New Collective Bargaining Agreements with United Steelworkers Union Reached as Part of Sale

PR Newswire

APPLETON, Wis., June 13, 2018 /PRNewswire/ — Appvion (the “Company”) today announced completion of the sale of substantially all of the Company’s assets to a group of its lenders led by Franklin Advisers, Inc. (the “Purchaser”). The transaction will significantly reduce Appvion’s debt, provide additional liquidity, and better position the Company to compete long-term in the evolving specialty paper market and further invest in the innovation that has made it a market leader.

Appleton Papers has changed its company name to Appvion, Inc. to reflect the full scope of its business. (PRNewsFoto/Appvion, Inc.) (PRNewsFoto/)

As previously announced, the sale was approved by the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware on May 14, 2018. The total consideration was approximately $365 million, plus the assumption of substantial liabilities, including many of the Company’s contractual obligations.

Ratification of New Collective Bargaining Agreements
Prior to the closing of the transaction, the Company reached agreement with the United Steelworkers Union on new collective bargaining agreements for Appvion’s manufacturing facilities in Appleton, Wisconsin, West Carrollton, Ohio, and Roaring Spring, Pennsylvania. The new three-year agreements, which were ratified at the end of May, cover approximately 830 Appvion employees.

Paper Industry Veterans Join Management Team
George W. Wurtz III, who has served as a member of Appvion’s board of directors for nearly seven years, has been named president, chief executive officer, and chairman of the Company’s newly-formed board. Jim Tyrone, who served as a senior vice president at Appvion from 2010 to 2012, has been named senior vice president of sales and marketing. These appointments are effective immediately.

“I would like to thank Kevin Gilligan for his leadership and many contributions during his tenure as CEO, helping Appvion navigate opportunities and challenges as well as its successful restructuring and sale process, and recognize Justin Merritt for his commitment to serving our customers as our sales and marketing lead through sale completion,” said George Wurtz.

“With nearly four decades of experience in the paper and packaging sector, George Wurtz brings a unique blend of deep industry, operational, and financial expertise to Appvion, along with broad knowledge of its capabilities and markets,” said Mark Boyadjian of Franklin Advisers. “We trust that George will engage Appvion’s strong leadership team and dedicated employees to best position the company for long-term growth and success.”

“I’m honored to have been selected as Appvion’s CEO,” said Wurtz. “This is a period of great opportunity for Appvion, as we have completed our sale and are positioned more strongly than ever. I look forward to working together with the leadership team, our talented employees, our valued suppliers, and our new owners to serve our customers and build this company’s future.”

Appvion and certain of its subsidiaries filed voluntary Chapter 11 cases on October 1, 2017 to facilitate a balance sheet restructuring and better position the business for long-term growth and success. On May 23, 2018, Appvion filed with the Bankruptcy Court a Chapter 11 Plan of Liquidation (the “Plan”) to wind down the cases while the Company continues to operate in the ordinary course. The proposed Plan and the previously approved global settlement among Appvion, the Purchaser, Franklin Advisers, the Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors, and holders of the Company’s $250 million of second lien notes pave the way for completion of the Chapter 11 cases in an expeditious manner.

DLA Piper is serving as legal counsel to Appvion, Guggenheim is serving as the Company’s investment banker, and AlixPartners is providing Chief Restructuring Officer services. O’Melveny & Myers, PJT Partners LP, and MERU are serving as advisors to Franklin Advisers on the transaction.

About George W. Wurtz III
George Wurtz joined Appvion and Paperweight Development Corp. as a director in July 2011. Wurtz co-founded Soundview Paper Company, a manufacturer and distributor of finished paper products, where he previously served as chairman of the board of directors and chief executive officer. Prior to Soundview, Wurtz was the chief executive officer and president of WinCup, a leading manufacturer and distributor of a broad line of disposable foodservice products, and an executive vice president of Georgia-Pacific Corporation, a then publicly-traded leading maker of tissue, pulp, paper, packaging, building products, and related chemicals, after it acquired the James River Corporation / Fort James Corporation, where he had held a number of executive management positions.

In addition to serving as chairman of Appvion’s board, Wurtz is currently a director of Remington Outdoor Company, Mohawk Fine Papers, Bemis Company, and Urbanspace. He also serves as a director and as chairman of the State University of New York (SUNY) at Oswego Engineering Advisory Board.

Wurtz received a bachelor’s degree in industrial arts and technology from SUNY Oswego in 1978.

About Jim Tyrone
Jim Tyrone returns to Appvion with 36 years of management experience and an outstanding record of executive leadership in delivering strong market, financial, and operational results. He most recently served as executive vice president of commercial operations and business development for NewPage Corporation.

Tyrone’s career in the paper industry began with Mead Corporation, where he served as vice president and general manager of the carbonless paper business unit, president of the fine paper division, vice president of Mead’s paper division (all coated, carbonless, and uncoated paper products), and senior vice president of sales and marketing for MeadWestvaco Corporation prior to its spinoff of NewPage. His responsibilities included managing channel strategy, sales and profit margin growth, product improvements, organizational changes, productivity, throughput, and cost improvements.

Tyrone earned a master’s degree in business administration from Harvard University and a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering from the University of Virginia.

About Appvion
Appvion creates product solutions through its development and use of coating formulations and applications. The Company produces thermal, carbonless, security, inkjet, digital specialty, and colored papers. Headquartered in Appleton, Wisconsin and employing approximately 1,250 people, Appvion operates coating and converting plants there and in West Carrollton, Ohio and a pulp and paper mill in Roaring Spring, Pennsylvania. In connection with the consummation of the sale, the Company has changed its legal name to Appvion Operations, Inc. but will continue to do business as Appvion. For more information on Appvion, visit


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SOURCE Appvion, Inc.

New MACH Gen LLC Announces Comprehensive Restructuring

New MACH Gen LLC Announces Comprehensive Restructuring

PR Newswire

THE WOODLANDS, Texas, June 11, 2018 /PRNewswire/ – New MACH Gen, LLC (“NMG” or the “Company”) today announced that it and certain of its subsidiaries have entered into a Restructuring Support Agreement (“RSA”) with its first lien lender and its equity owner. The transactions contemplated by the RSA, as further described below, will reduce NMG’s overall indebtedness, result in the extension of additional credit to NMG from its equity owner, and align NMG’s balance sheet with anticipated future financial performance.

The RSA contemplates that the restructuring will be implemented through a voluntary prepackaged plan of reorganization filed under Chapter 11 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code in Delaware. The Company is working closely with its suppliers and business partners to ensure its business continues uninterrupted.  During the pendency of its reorganization proceedings, the Company expects to continue to meet all its third-party obligations. The Company anticipates completion of its restructuring quickly and efficiently, with emergence from bankruptcy expected in the second half of 2018. The transactions contemplated by the RSA are subject to required regulatory approvals (including from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (the “FERC”)), confirmation of NMG’s proposed plan of reorganization by the bankruptcy court, and the satisfaction of other typical closing conditions.

“Since taking over management of the Company in June 2017, CEO Dale Lebsack and I have made it a priority to partner with our lender and equity owner to improve our capital structure,” said John Chesser, Chief Financial Officer of NMG.  “The Company’s existing balance sheet assumed higher capacity payments and higher margins from our three assets, but poorer-than-expected results delivered lower cash flows, impeding our ability to service debt. The Company and its advisors have worked closely with its first lien lender to consensually restructure its credit facility. We’re pleased to announce that we’ve reached a mutually-agreeable plan to restructure our balance sheet, providing for a continued path forward as markets recover.”

Under the terms of the RSA, subject to the approvals and conditions noted above, (1) NMG will transfer its interest in the Harquahala facility to its first lien lender in exchange for a reduction of its indebtedness under its refinanced first lien credit facility, (2) the first lien credit facility will be refinanced to modify its economic terms and extend its maturity to 2023, and (3) NMG’s equity owner will provide additional new financing to NMG.  The restructuring is expected to result in a balance sheet aligned with NMG’s anticipated future financial performance.

NAES will continue to support the Company’s operations during the bankruptcy proceedings.  NAES is a leading, independent services company dedicated to optimizing the performance of energy facilities across the power generation, oil & gas, and petrochemical industries. 

The Company has engaged Evercore as its financial advisor, Alvarez & Marsal North America, LLC as its restructuring advisor, and Young Conaway Stargatt & Taylor, LLP as its legal advisor.  Please direct any inquiries to

About NMG

NMG owns and manages a portfolio of three natural gas-fired electric generating facilities located in the United States: (1) a 1,080 MW facility located in Athens, New York, that achieved commercial operation on May 5, 2004; (2) a 1,092 MW facility located in Maricopa County, Arizona, that achieved commercial operation on September 11, 2004; and (3) a 360 MW facility, located in Charlton, Massachusetts, that achieved commercial operation on April 12, 2001. The facilities dispatch electricity into three power markets, two of which are served by independent system operators (“ISOs”) and similar transmission interfaces across a geographically diverse area.  Specifically, the Athens facility dispatches power into the region managed by the New York ISO, the Harquahala facility into the region served by the Western Electricity Coordinating Council, and the Millennium facility into the region managed by ISO New England.

Although the restructuring transaction is expected to be completed in the second half of 2018, the restructuring is subject to conditions, risks and uncertainties, some of which are beyond NMG’s control, including approval by FERC and the bankruptcy court.  Therefore, no assurance can be given that the plan of reorganization will be consummated on the terms described herein or at all.

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Auto Loan Debt Should Be Given Your Full Attention

Columbus, Ohio, June 04, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — The average household owes nearly $30,000 in auto loans. As record-setting auto debt poses financial challenges to more Americans, attorneys at an Ohio bankruptcy firm believe that debtors should take auto loans as seriously as any other type of debt. 


“People who owe several debts might be tempted to pay off what appears most immediate,” said Courtney A. Cousino of the law firm Fesenmyer Cousino Weinzimmer. “Mortgages and medical debt often take the top spot, and people will miss auto loan payments or utilize loan deferment.”

Cousino said paying debt requires a more strategic approach. This means creating a plan that takes into account all types of debt 

“In many cases, a sound strategy enables debtors to chip away at all types of debt, without kicking the can further down the road like one does with a loan deferment,” Cousino said. “If a person’s debts are simply too great, then there are smarter tools to overcome it.”

Fesenmyer Cousino Weinzimmer offers legal assistance to people filing for bankruptcy. While the attorneys said every client has his or her own set of needs, those with insurmountable debt in the form of credit cards and auto loans, for example, can benefit from bankruptcy.

“Auto loan debt can be dealt with directly through bankruptcy,” said Thomas M. Fesenmyer. “It’s not the path we recommend for all our clients, but it’s an incredibly effective tool for many people we represent, often allowing them to keep their vehicle and structure a payment plan they can manage.”

Danielle R. Weinzimmer said that if people don’t find a path to overcome their auto loans, they’ll incur unnecessary debt.

“Whether you’re missing payments or deferring your loan and paying added interest later, it will inevitably come back to haunt you,” Weinzimmer said. “But if you build a plan that uses the tools and resources you have at your disposal, overcoming auto debt is not as difficult as it might seem when your bills are piling up.”

Thomas Fesenmyer
Fesenmyer Cousino Weinzimmer