KPAQ mill in St. Francisville acquired by Tennessee company; no word on whether jobs affected _lowres

Advocate staff file photo by PATRICK DENNIS -- Hood Container Corp. has acquired KPAQ Industries LLC, which operates a containerboard and kraft paper mill in St. Francisville. The mill previously was operated by Renew Paper and before that Timbec.

The KPAQ Industries liner board and Kraft paper mill in St. Francisville has been acquired by a Tennessee-based company for an undisclosed price.

Hood Container Corp. said the mill will complement its corrugated paper mill in New Johnsonville, Tennessee. Plans are to operate the St. Francisville facility as Hood Container of Louisiana.

Charlie Hodges, president and chief operating officer of Hood Container, said in a statement that the plan is to make the St. Francisville mill a highly efficient operation through manufacturing upgrades and process improvements. Hood declined to comment on what impact the acquisition would have on staffing at the mill. According to the KPAQ website, about 250 people work at the mill.

“We have worked hard to position Hood Container as a reputable and reliable supplier of superior containerboard and corrugated products and as a company that is easy to do business with,” Hodges said. “Our philosophy and approach with the St. Francisville operations will be no different.”

Hood, which is privately held, acquired the New Johnsonville mill from International Paper in 2012. Wayne Morgan, who serves as general manager of the New Johnsonville mill, will oversee the St. Francisville mill as vice president of manufacturing.

KPAQ is a property of Amzak Capital Management, based in Boca Raton, Florida. Amzak bought the mill for about $10 million in April 2010 from West Feliciana Acquisition LLC through a bankruptcy court auction. Before the sale, the mill had been idle for about five months, a move that put about 200 people out of work.

The mill operates a liner board machine, which makes about 600 tons a day. Cardboard typically consists of a corrugated sheet sandwiched between two pieces of flat liner board. In 2011, a year after restarting the mill, a second production line manufacturing machine-glazed papers for the food industry was launched. Machine-glazed papers include bags or the waxed papers used to wrap restaurant carry-out sandwiches.