Catalyst Paper announced Tuesday it has entered an agreement to sell its shares to Richmond-based Paper Excellence Canada (PEC).
The sale still requires approval from the B.C. Supreme Court and from at least two-thirds Catalyst shareholders at a future meeting.
Catalyst employs around 1,500 workers at mills in Crofton, Port Alberni and Powell River.
“When complete, this transaction will benefit all of our stakeholders, including our customers, employees, suppliers, the communities where we operate, and BC’s pulp and paper and forest products industries,” Catalyst President and CEO Ned Dwyer said in a release.
The province says it will work closely with PEC on the transfer of permits and authorizations for the mills and follows on regulatory changes made in July to protect pensions for Catalyst retirees and workers if only part of the company was sold.
“Our action, then as now, was to make sure workers, past and present, have secure futures in the communities they call home,” B.C. Premier John Horgan said in a statement.
“We’re pleased that Paper Excellence has stepped up and stepped in to provide even more security to thousands of coastal families.”
PEC produces two million tonnes of pulp capacity through five operating mills in Canada and two others in France.
The sale is expected to be completed by the end of the year or early in 2019.
In June, Catalyst announced it had completed a US$175 million sale of its U.S. mills in Rumford, Maine and Biron, Wisconsin to ND Paper LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Chinese-based Nine Dragons Paper, along with the company’s U.S. operations in Dayton, Ohio.