Hong Kong-based Nine Dragons Paper’s wholly-owned subsidiary ND Paper has agreed to acquire Catalyst Paper’s US mills for around $175m.

Under the deal, ND Paper will acquire Catalyst’s Rumford mill in Maine and Biron mill in Wisconsin along with the associated staff at the firm’s US operations center in Dayton of Ohio.

Founded in 1901, Rumford mill produces coated one and two-sided paper, including paper commonly used in food and beverage packaging. The mill employs around 640 people.

Established in 1892, Biron mill has two paper machines that manufacture coated groundwood papers. The mill employs around 425 people.

Catalyst has agreed to offer transition support services to ND Paper to help develop certain operational and administrative functions needed for the two US mills.

Based on the favorable voting of Catalyst’s shareholders, the deal is expected to complete in the second quarter of this year.

Catalyst president and CEO Ned Dwyer said: “We’re proud of what our employees have accomplished at our Biron and Rumford mills and our Dayton operations center. Their hard work and dedication have vastly improved these operations.

“This transaction allows Catalyst to re-pay a significant portion of our debt and focus on our British Columbia operations.”

“We also continue to work with the provincial and federal governments in our defence against the unwarranted imposition of U.S. countervailing and anti-dumping duties.”

Based in British Columbia of Canada, Catalyst Paper produces a range of paper products such as coated freesheet, coated one side (C1S), flexible and industrial packaging.

The company’s products also include coated and uncoated groundwood, newsprint, directory, as well as market pulp.

Catalyst Paper supplies its products to retailers, publishers and commercial printers in North America, Latin America, the Pacific Rim and Europe.

Nine Dragons Paper produces linerboard, including kraftlinerboard, testlinerboard and white top linerboard, corrugating medium and coated duplex board.