Appleton Papers calls off acquisition by billionaire investor

Appleton Papers Inc. announced is discontinuing its proposal to be acquired by Hicks Acquisition Company II Inc., a special purpose acquisition company operated by billionaire Thomas Hicks.

“Unfortunately, volatile market conditions prevented a deal from being struck that was acceptable to both parties,” said Mark Richards, Appleton’s chairman, president and chief executive officer. “Therefore, after consulting with Hicks’ management, we have decided to discontinue the transaction.”
Richards added, “We entered into negotiations with the best intentions to create a combined business that would strengthen Appleton’s balance sheet, support its businesses, and give the company greater flexibility to pursue growth opportunities. Achieving those objectives is still part of our strategy going forward, and we will continue to pursue them as market conditions improve.”
Richards confirmed that, despite the transaction not closing, Appleton will proceed with its plans to do business as Appvion, which the company announced in May. The Appvion name combines the words “applied” and “innovation,” reflecting the company’s successful transformation from a paper company to a business focused on coating formulations and applications, and specialty chemicals.

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