Posts Tagged ‘Chad Wasilenkoff’

Globe & Mail Small Business Week Interview Featuring Fortress Paper (Part 2)

Posted: Wednesday, October 19th, 2011

Globe & Mail Small Business Week Interview Featuring Fortress Paper (Part 2)

In part two of the Globe and Mail’s Small Business Editor Katherine Scarrow’s feature interview with Fortress Paper CEO Chad Wasilenkoff, they discuss how printing and protecting money is big business for Fortress Paper.

 Mr. Wasilenkoff discusses Fortress Paper being the ‘sole maker’ of the Swiss Franc for thirty years and how Fortress Paper is in the final stages of the next series Swiss Franc that will come out next year and “be the most state of the art and have more counterfeit features than any other banknote in the world”.

 To watch Part 2 of Fortress Paper in their three-part video series entitled Talking To Entrepreneurs, please click HERE.

 Part 1: Printing and protecting money big business for Fortress Paper.  Watch video HERE

 Part 3: Entrepreneurial paper chief explains contrarian investing strategy. Watch video HERE

SOURCE:

 The Globe & Mail: “Printing and Protecting Money Big Business for Fortress Paper

 

Fortress Paper Featured In Globe & Mail Small Business Week Video Series (Part 1)

Posted: Tuesday, October 18th, 2011

As part of their coverage on Small Business Week, The Globe and Mail launched a three-part video series entitled Talking To Entrepreneurs focused on Fortress Paper Ltd.

In the series the Globe and Mail’s Small Business Editor Katherine Scarrow sits down with Fortress Paper CEO Chad Wasilenkoff to discuss various aspects of his company.

Speaking about his nature as a self-proclaimed “contrarian investor,” Wasilenkoff presents a snapshot of
Fortress Paper’s inception in a time of unprecedented decline in the forestry sector.

“In troubling times like that, there’s always going to be some interesting mill, some interesting product, and somebody has to have something unique, so you just have to pick out those hidden gems,” he says in the interview.

Watch the entire Part 1 video HERE.

Part 2 : Printing and protecting money big business for Fortress Paper.  Watch the Part 2 video HERE.

Part 3: Entrepreneurial paper chief explains contrarian investing strategy.  Watch the Part 3 video HERE.

 

 

SOURCE:
The Globe And Mail: “Fortress Paper Chief Turns Turns Tired Mill Into Major Venture”

Fortress Paper Featured on Small Business Week- three part series

Posted: Friday, October 14th, 2011

The ‘Small Business Week will be featuring Fortress Paper’s CEO, Chad Wasilenkoff. The three part video series starts this week on Tuesday, October 17th .

Small Business Week will take place Oct. 16-22 , and this year’s theme, according to the Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC), is “Power Up Your Business. Invest. Innovate. Grow’. For over thirty years, the BDC has organized Small Business Week to pay tribute to Canadian entrepreneurs.

 

 

Fortress Paper will be presenting at The Vancouver Small-Cap Conference

Posted: Friday, October 14th, 2011

Fortress Paper will be presenting at The Vancouver Small-Cap Conference on October 20th at the Vancouver Convention Centre and invites you to attend. Fortress Paper will have a corporate booth at the event and Chad Wasilenkoff will be presenting at 6:30pm.

Presenting companies come from a variety of industries including mining, technology, telecommunications, oil and gas, financial, manufacturing, and more. The guest speakers will be sharing their outlook on the markets and current economic conditions, and will be providing their top picks for 2011.

Fortress Paper and Chad Wasilenkoff looks forward to seeing you this Thursday at his 6:30pm presentation or at the Fortress Paper booth.

Fortress Paper Announces the Commencement of the Final Phase of the Dissolving Pulp Conversion Project and the Signing of New Banknote Paper Orders

Posted: Wednesday, October 12th, 2011

VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA–(Marketwire – Oct. 12, 2011) - Fortress Paper Ltd. (www.fortresspaper.com) (“Fortress” or the “Company”) (TSX:FTP) wishes to announce the commencement of the final phase of the dissolving pulp conversion project at its Fortress Specialty Cellulose Mill in Thurso, Quebec and the signing of new banknote paper orders at its Landqart Mill in Landquart, Switzerland.

Thurso Quebec:

The Fortress Specialty Cellulose Mill was purchased by Fortress in early 2010 with the plan to convert the NBHK mill to a dissolving pulp producer commencing in May 2011. Moreover, the construction of a cogeneration facility to provide 18.8 megawatts per annum of green power to Hydro Quebec for a 15 year term has also recently broken ground, and is scheduled for completion in the second half of 2012.

Peter Vinall, Chief Executive Officer of Fortress Specialty Cellulose, commented: “The Thurso mill conversion has entered the final shutdown phase which represents the ending of NBHK production at the mill. We have mobilized a workforce of over 800 workers on site to assist with final mill connections and de-bottlenecking work. When the mill is restarted in early November it will be a low cost, high quality dissolving pulp producer with an annual production capacity of approximately 200,000 tonnes.”

Landqart Switzerland:

Fortress Paper’s Lanqart Mill reports the signing of new banknote paper contracts for 2012, which represent a significant portion of the mill’s annual banknote production capacity.

Chad Wasilenkoff, Chief Executive Officer of Fortress Paper, commented: “Our Landqart Mill was among the winning bids for a number of banknote contracts. Bidding on contracts of this volume would not have been possible prior to our recent PM1 banknote machine upgrade, which increased our overall annual production capacity from 2,500 to 10,000 tonnes.”

About Fortress Paper

Fortress Paper is a leading international producer of security and other specialty papers and products. Fortress operates three mills, the Landqart Mill located in Switzerland, the Dresden Mill located in Germany and the Fortress Specialty Cellulose Mill located in Quebec, Canada. Fortress Paper’s security papers include banknote, passport and visa papers and its specialty papers include non-woven wallpaper base products, and graphic and technical papers. Fortress Paper’s pulp business includes specialty pulp produced at the Fortress Specialty Cellulose Mill, which is currently in the process of converting this capacity into dissolving pulp production along with the construction of a biomass based cogeneration plant.

This news release contains certain forward-looking statements that reflect the current views and/or expectations of Fortress Paper with respect to its performance, business and future events, including statements regarding the timing of completion of its conversion project and cogeneration facility. Forward-looking statements are based on the then-current expectations, beliefs, assumptions, estimates and forecasts about the business and the industry and markets in which the Company operates. Forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future performance and involve risks, uncertainties and assumptions which are difficult to predict. Investors are cautioned that all forward-looking statements involve risks and uncertainties including, without limitation, risks relating to potential disruptions to production and delivery, regulatory requirements, changes in the market, potential downturns in economic conditions, fluctuations in the price and supply of required materials, foreign exchange fluctuations, labour relations, dependence on major customers, and other risk factors listed from time to time in the Company’s public filings. These risks, as well as others, could cause actual results and events to vary significantly. Accordingly, readers should not place undue reliance on forward-looking statements, which are qualified in their entirety by this cautionary statement. Fortress Paper does not undertake any obligations to release publicly any revisions for updating any voluntary forward-looking statements, except as required by applicable securities law.

SOURCE: Marketwire 

 

BBC Features Fortress Paper’s Banknote Facility

Posted: Friday, September 23rd, 2011

BBC News visited Fortress Paper’s facility in Landquart, Switzerland this week to learn about the process of making banknotes.

In a video featured in the BBC’s Business section, Marco Ziethen, the production manager at Landquart, takes reporter Lucy Burton through a step-by-step guide to manufacturing banknotes. From importing, refining and bleaching cotton, Ziethen showed how cotton gets turned into currency. Ziethen also explained how, as the paper is being made, security features are embedded in order to prevent counterfeiting of whatever currency is being produced.

The Landquart facility produces an astonishing number of banknotes each day, said the BBC.

“Each pallet has 18,000 sheets of paper on it. Each sheet will eventually be cut into 54 notes. That is an impressive 972,000 notes on each pallet. The mill runs 24 hours a day and it takes half an hour to make a pallet. So, overall, the mill can turn out around 46,656,000 notes per day,” Burton wrote. “If they are making 500-euro notes that day, the amount of money passing through these doors is simply mind-boggling.”

Vancouver-based Fortress Paper Ltd., has made significant strides in production since they began running the Swiss mill, going from “producing less than 1,000 tonnes of paper per year to 10,000 tonnes per year,” according to the BBC article.

Getting to this point, however hasn’t been easy. In another video posted on their site, Fortress Paper CEO Chad Wasilenkoff said the business provided some initial challenges.

“The banknote and passport industry is a very closed group of people,” he said. “A lot of the companies that are operating in this space have been operating since the 1500s or 1600s so we’re a fairly new entry into this.”

Getting reference orders and new contracts with national banks can be challenging, said Wasilenkoff, but Fortress has made some impressive in-roads acquiring large contracts with countries such as Switzerland to produce the Swiss franc – considered to be an industry standard in security.

In addition to these contracts, the banknote industry is one that is perpetually in flux. As technologies change, national banks have to keep updating security features on their banknotes to curb counterfeiting.

“Fortress hopes that the Landquart mill can help banks to ‘stay ahead of the curve’ and of course – make some money in the process,” Burton wrote.

Read the full BBC article and watch the videos HERE.

SOURCE:
BBC News: “How To Make Money From Making Money”

Fortress Paper to Release First Quarter 2011 Earnings

Posted: Tuesday, May 31st, 2011

VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA–(Marketwire – May 31, 2011) -

Fortress Paper Ltd. (TSX:FTP) (“Fortress Paper” or the “Corporation”) announced today that it intends to release its first quarter financial results for the period ended March 31st, 2011 after the close of the market on Tuesday, June 14th, 2011. In connection with the release of its results, Fortress Paper will host a conference call Wednesday, June 15th, 2011 at 9:30 a.m. (PST) to discuss the financial results and the Corporation’s operations. Mr. Chadwick Wasilenkoff, Chief Executive Officer, Alfonso Ciotola, President, Erich Sulser, Chief Operating Officer, Kurt Loewen, Chief Financial Officer and Peter Vinall, President and Chief Executive Officer of Fortress Specialty Cellulose Inc. will host the call.

To participate in the conference call, please dial one of the following numbers:

Dial In Numbers: 604-681-0262 Vancouver
403-532-8075 Calgary or International
780-429-7423 Edmonton
647-837-0597 Toronto
613-683-0932 Ottawa
514-788-7663 Montreal
Toll Free Dial In Number: 1-877-353-9586 from Canada and USA
Participant Pass Code: 98030#
Conference Reference Number: 545090

 

A replay of the conference call will be available for 7 days. To access the replay, listeners may dial 1-877-353-9587 from Canada & the USA or dial 403-699-1055 from local Calgary or International. The conference reference number is 545090 # and the participant pass code to access the replay is 98030 #.

About Fortress Paper Ltd.

Fortress Paper is a leading international producer of security and other specialty papers and products. Fortress Paper operates three mills, the Landqart Mill located in Switzerland, the Dresden Mill located in Germany and the Fortress Specialty Cellulose Mill located in Quebec, Canada. Fortress Paper‘s security papers include banknote, high security, passport and visa papers and its specialty papers include non-woven wallpaper base products. Fortress Paper‘s pulp business includes NBHK produced at the Fortress Specialty Cellulose Mill with plans to convert this capacity into dissolving pulp production along with the construction of a biomass based cogeneration plant.

NOT FOR DISTRIBUTION TO UNITED STATES NEWSWIRE SERVICES OR FOR DISSEMINATION IN THE UNITED STATES.

 

Sources:

Marketwire

Fortress Paper Ltd.

Chad Wasilenkoff Nominated as one of BNN’s Top Newsmakers 2010

Posted: Wednesday, December 22nd, 2010

Chad Wasilenkoff, CEO of Fortress Paper Ltd., made it onto BNN’s Top Newsmaker of the Year 2010, a list that recognizes game-changing business leaders in Canada.

Wasilenkoff was acknowledged this year for picking up the bankrupt pulp mill in Thurso, Quebec and acquiring Optical Security Assets from the Bank of Canada, a division that makes security threads for paper money. His original $2-million investment in Fortress is worth 80 million today, and his stock is up 300% over the last year.

Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall was chosen as the Top Newsmaker of 2010 for his role in the tabled hostile takeover of Potash Corporation by BHP Billiton.

Source:

Broadcaster: “BNN Names Brad Wall as Year’s Top Business Newsmaker”

Leader Post: “BNN names Premier Brad Wall the Canadian Newsmaker of the Year”

The Ottawa Citizen: “Sniffing Out Hidden Value”

Posted: Wednesday, August 18th, 2010

For contrarian Chad Wasilenkoff, a nose for overlooked potential led him to a pulp mill in Thurso. Bert Hill reports for The Ottawa Citizen.

OTTAWA — From golf courses to art auctions and old mill towns, value can hide in unexpected places.

Just ask Chad Wasilenkoff, the 38-year-old chief executive officer of Fortress Paper Ltd.

When he was a child in Calgary he built a savings account fishing golf balls out of ponds and buying and selling video games, BMX bikes and other popular products he found in want ads.

He learned market timing. He and a friend snapped up Robert Bateman prints for a few hundred dollars each at a deserted auction in the middle of a Calgary snowstorm and sold them for more than $1,000.

That might seem a long jump from Fortress’ latest coup — a mothballed pulp plant in Thurso that, for generations, was the bane of the capital region because of its smelly rotten-egg emissions.

The mill, which stood empty for a year because of the forest industry collapse, is now back in production. The 300 employees are producing hardwood pulp, suddenly profitable because of a strong — but likely temporary — increase in demand in Asia.

Early next year, it will start producing dissolving pulp to feed the developing world’s demand for rayon used in clothing.

Though Thurso has yet to produce the new pulp, Wasilenkoff said he got “multiple overtures” during a recent business trip to China from investors who wanted to buy the whole mill or a minority stake.

He said textile industry customers are lining up to negotiate for the specialized pulp with starting offers he considers surprisingly high.

With all the production likely to be committed soon, he is looking to convert other mills. There are no other suitable mills in the Ottawa area, but “we are searching the planet for more of these opportunities,” he said.

Wasilenkoff said he plans to stay in dissolving pulp, unless an attractive offer comes along.

“We are in this for the long haul. But money talks and at the right price, everything is for sale.”

Fortress shares have quadrupled this year as investors discovered the magic of a tiny profitable player in an industry still covered with red ink. The firm just snapped up $44 million in a new stock offering.

Trading at $28 this week, the company now has a market capitalization approaching $400 million.

Wasilenkoff owns 23 per cent of the Vancouver-based company.

The rapid acceleration of the stock from below $10 in January has some analysts worrying.

TD Newcrest analyst Sean Steuart downgraded the stock to “hold” from “buy” this week, although Fortress beat his sales and profit forecasts for the June quarter.

With the price up 31 per cent in less than a month since he put on the buy recommendation, Steuart took action because of concern that the stock valuation is running ahead of underlying business.

“Management has earned our benefit of the doubt, but there are several major projects on the go right now.

“We would prefer the company deliver on current capital expenditure plans before looking at additional expansion opportunities.”

Wasilenkoff says he is a contrarian. When the investing public is chasing the latest hot stocks and investment ideas, he looks elsewhere.

It was a philosophy he learned the hard way: He read weighty analyst reports during the technology boom and lost heavily when prices collapsed.

It is a philosophy that has allowed him to benefit from buying gold, copper and other assets when prices were deeply depressed. It takes nerve and patience to stay away from the herd.

He also learned never to fall in love with an asset. If his analysis said the prices had passed sustainable levels, as it did with uranium and a stake in Cameco, he sold and the market eventually followed.

Now he has embraced the pulp and paper industry, a business loved today only by bankruptcy lawyers.

Canada is rapidly shedding a world-class industry that for 90 years supported tens of thousands of jobs and billions of dollars in global sales.

Governments, which rushed to bail out the auto industry, are taking a hands-off attitude to the forestry industry, its unemployed workers and underfunded pension funds.

Mills across Ontario and Quebec that would cost billions to replace are selling today for a few million dollars each. An empty Thunder Bay mill recently sold for just $100,000. Production machinery is being sold for scrap or shipped abroad.

“There are a lot of smaller mills that were considered too uncompetitive to survive against the big mills,” Wasilenkoff said.

“But markets have changed. Now there is opportunity and good profit margins in the small mills with the right products and technology.”

He doesn’t see the traditional newsprint, photocopying or related pulp markets recovering soon in North America.

But mills with profitable specialty products have a future.

He tried to buy the former Concert Industries mill in Gatineau, which makes air-laid paper used in diapers and incontinence and feminine hygiene pads. Glatfelter, a small specialty Pennsylvania producer of everything from labels to tea bags, won the asset.

Fortress owns a wallpaper plant in Germany and a bank-note plant in Switzerland, where it is investing to expand production.

Wallpaper must be due for a turnaround because it has been out of fashion so long, particularly in North America.

But in eastern Europe demand continues to grow though assets are depressed.

Fortress bought a mill in Germany that makes dry-strippable paper, a profitable niche.

“We spent less than $5 million but now it is generating $3 million a month in business.”

The latest coup was the former Fraser Pulp kraft mill in Thurso, originally a key part of the old James Maclaren and Noranda empires.

It makes hardwood pulp, a market commodity that has been losing ground steadily to softwood pulp.

The mill closed in June 2009 when Fraser Pulp tumbled into bankruptcy protection, laying off hundreds of employees.

It appeared headed for the scrap heap, like other older mills in Ottawa, Gatineau, Cornwall and Portage du Fort.

Fortress bought the old mill — with buildings, land and machinery worth $45 million — for just $3 million.

It embraced a plan, promoted in the local community,

to generate electricity from biomass for sale to Hydro-Québec.

Fortress will spend $153 million converting the mill to dissolving pulp production. Investissement-Québec is providing a $102.4-million loan, to be combined with

$25 million in federal tax credits and other incentives. When it opens, it will be second-largest of its kind in the world, behind only a plant in Brazil.

Wasilenkoff got a great deal on the enormous digester tubes and other sophisticated equipment needed to make dissolving pulp. They will arrive by barge next month.

Russia shut off exports of pulp logs in a move that stranded a Stora mill in Finland.

Fortress bought the machinery for $3 million, or less than 10 per cent of replacement costs.

The company is also enjoying the luck of a sudden pick up in pulp demand and prices. Global demand has snapped back from the 2008-2009 recession. With production permanently reduced by many permanent closings, prices have jumped 50 per cent in the last year.

When Fortress hired 300 former employees and started production in late May, it caught the new market demand.

Wasilenkoff does not expect the prices to hold because the global industry is only profitable one or two years every decade.

But he believes the prices will hold up until it completes the conversion next year.

With a strong push from the Thurso products, Fortress adjusted profits jumped almost 60 per cent to $4.3 million in the June quarter and sales rose 22 per cent to $60.5 million compared to a year earlier.

SOURCE:
The Ottawa Citizen: “Sniffing Out Hidden Value”

Pulp Growth Ain’t Pulp Fiction – Embracing New Opportunities

Posted: Monday, June 28th, 2010

While “pulp fiction” may resonate with the hearts and minds of people, the wood pulp business sector sometimes results in a “hollow” response. While readers would not be able to turn the pages of their pulp fiction books or enjoy their cotton and rayon clothing without their wood pulp brethren, the pulp sector is often looked upon as sleepy.

Yawning all the way to the bank

While the pulp sector may appear quiet, the market players are “yawning” all the way to the bank. “Between 2002 and 2006, world exports of wood, pulp and paper products grew at an average annual rate of 10.6%,” reports Global-production.com Inc., a business economics consultancy. Despite the volatile economy, the upward price trend in market pulp continues across the world.

“The fundamentals of the pulp market continue to be very strong,” reports PulpWatch, a leading provider of business information and consultancy services to the international pulp and paper industry. “Pulp prices increased by $30-50/t in May, and are set to reach new records in Europe and North America in June. Producer inventories reached record lows in April, and consumer warehouses are similarly bare. European paper demand and order books have improved and prices for most grades are moving upwards, albeit at a slower pace than fiber prices.” This is currently a temporary cyclical high, but we will be getting out of this old product in approximately one year.

As a contrarian investor, I keep focused on industries widely considered to be depressed with an eye on purchasing world class assets at deeply discounted prices. My company recently paid $1.2 million to Fraser Papers for a facility in Quebec with an insured replacement cost of $851 million in assets. We are converting this operation into a specialty dissolving pulp operation. Dissolving wood pulp is chemically refined bleached pulp composed of pure cellulose fibers extracted from trees. Dissolving pulp is the major source for the natural cellulose used in the production of rayon.

Rayon – a very promising future

I believe rayon demand is at a tipping point around the world. The declining global production of cotton is insufficient to meet global textile industry demand; particularly with the rapidly expanding middle class in China and India. Industry analysts indicate that the rayon market has grown at 7% globally and over 10% in China for the last 5 years. Rayon is typically blended with other fibers and can logically displace the cotton shortfall. Rayon has high uniformity which leads to significant improvements in productivity in spinning and textile plants.

Rayon demand has revealed a gap in supply. Total dissolving pulp capacity in late 2007 was 2.4 million tonnes according to the CCF Group (China Chemical Fibers & Textiles Consultancy). Expansions and conversions with plants in Brazil, South Africa and Canada added 0.6 million tonnes of dissolving pulp capacity in 2008, but closures of many higher cost dissolving mills resulted in limited capacity to fill the increasing demand.

A specialty producer

Driven by overall textile demand and increasing preference for rayon over cotton, over one million tonnes of additional rayon capacity (dissolving pulp customers) was built in China in 2009 and an additional 0.5 to 0.7 million tonnes in China is planned to start-up in 2010. There is a current shortfall of approximately 0.5 million tonnes in annual rayon supply which is expected to continue during the next several years.

Rayon, derived from wood pulp, is a textile made from cellulose whose future is looking very promising which is why we sought to invest in this sector. With our Quebec facility, we are transforming an asset which was previously underutilizing its potential by operating as a high cost producer into a specialty product producer which is low-cost and globally competitive. Over 90% of the existing mill equipment is ideally suited to produce high quality specialty cellulose for the rayon textile industry.

The consumer advantages of rayon are clear as it is woven into soft, absorbent and comfortable fabric which supports vibrant colors and wears well. Rayon is one of the most widely used fabrics in the world which can be blended with man-made or natural fabrics. For many centuries, people have relied on plants and animals, such as silkworms, sheep and buffalo, to provide the materials needed for clothing. In our 21st century world, we look to technology and chemistry to create our fabrics. Rayon, dubbed “laboratory’s first gift to the loom” is widely considered to be one of the most versatile and economical man-made fibers available.

–Chadwick Wasilenkoff, Chairman & CEO of Fortress Paper Ltd.

SOURCE:
RISI: “Pulp Growth Ain’t Pulp Fiction – Embracing New Opportunities”