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Wellman, Inc. Announces Letter of Intent to Sell Its Engineering Resins Business to an Investor Group Specializing in Renewable Energy and Environmentally Friendly Businesses as well as Turnarounds
Saturday September 27, 10:29 am ET

FORT MILL, S.C.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Wellman, Inc. announced today that it has entered into a letter of intent to sell its Engineering Resins business and other assets located on its Johnsonville, SC site to an investor group that specializes in turnarounds and renewable energy businesses and is known for its commitments to long term investing. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed, but the deal is expected to close shortly after the completion of a definitive agreement and due diligence, and after the receipt of bankruptcy court approval. The investor group, which includes JHW Greentree Capital, an affiliate of J.H. Whitney & Co., GarMark Partners and Westwind Equity Partners, has already made a significant commitment to recycled PET through their investment in New Horizon Plastics Recycling, which is one of the largest producers of recycled PET serving the bottling and other industries.

Mark Ruday, Wellman, Inc.s Chief Executive Officer stated We are very pleased to have executed a letter of intent to sell our Engineering Resins Division and the entire Johnsonville site. The sale needs to proceed with urgency and is scheduled to close in the middle of October. During the sale process, Wellman expects to continue to service its customers. Wellman believes the sale is in its best interests and the best interests of its estates and its stakeholders and will bring in more value than a liquidation. More importantly, Wellman believes the sale would benefit the approximately 160 Johnsonville employees as well as the town of Johnsonville, its school system and its water treatment facility.

Robert Fotsch, CEO of New Horizons, who would also become CEO of the Wellman-Johnsonville assets, said: For decades, Wellmans Johnsonville facility has been a leader in plastic recycling. Assuming we are able to complete the transaction, we plan to make the necessary investments and to support the high quality team in Johnsonville in order to reestablish Johnsonvilles leadership in both Engineering Resins and recycled PET so that it remains a critical partner to companies in the automotive, bottling and other industries. Given the high cost of oil, the products produced at Wellmans Johnsonvilles facility are a very attractive alternative to high priced virgin plastics.

Robert Taylor, Vice-President of Engineering Resins, said This is a fantastic opportunity for our Engineering Resins business, our employees, customers and the surrounding community. With the financial backing and commitment of our new partners, we expect to have the resources to expand our Engineering Resins operation and restart the PET bottle recycling operation. It is also a great feeling to work with this investor group to save jobs at the Johnsonville site.

About the assets at Wellmans Johnsonville facility. The Engineering Resins business has the capacity to produce over 70 million pounds per year of engineered plastics, which is used in a wide variety of applications including automotive, lawn and garden, and electronics. Other assets include a 235 million pound polyester staple fiber plant and a 190 million pound PET bottle recycling operation, which will be used mainly in the bottling industry, but has applications for other areas.

Source: Wellman, Inc.

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