Our acquisition by Paper Excellence, completed last week, marks the start of the next chapter in Domtar history.
The transaction makes us part of the Paper Excellence group of companies, and our stock will no longer be traded on public exchanges.
We’ll continue to operate as a standalone entity, and President and CEO John D. Williams and the current management team will remain in place. These leaders will guide the company into the next chapter of Domtar’s 173-year history.
“Let me assure you of our steadfast commitment to a strong safety culture, responsible environmental record, good corporate citizenship, investment in our manufacturing facilities, and strong support of our local communities,” Williams said to employees after the closing. “These principles and our employees have been the bedrock of Domtar’s success for nearly 175 years.”
“We have not only survived, but thrived, in difficult circumstances in the past few years. I am confident in the ability of our teams across North America to work together to make this next chapter in Domtar’s story one of innovation and success.”
Turning a page in Domtar history
Everyone’s story starts somewhere. Ours began in 1848. It’s a 173-year story that includes a real man named Henry Potter Burt and a fictional boy named Harry Potter. It’s a tale of agility, caring and innovation that Domtar is proud to tell.
Dominion Tar and Chemical Company Ltd.
In early 1848, Henry Potter Burt founded Burt Boulton Holdings Limited in England. The company specialized in treating lumber to prevent it from decaying. His business boomed as demand for railway ties and wharf pilings grew in Europe and in North America.
This steady growth led to the founding of a new company, Dominion Tar and Chemical Company Ltd., in 1903. Dominion Tar’s first venture was a coal tar distillation plant in Nova Scotia. As Canada’s economy industrialized, the plant produced more products, and the company grew rapidly.
Shortly after World War I began in 1914, Dominion Tar established its head office in Montreal, Quebec. In 1929, it was incorporated as a Canadian company and shares in it were offered for public sale.
Over the years, Dominion Tar would become one of Canada’s largest companies; its widely diverse business interests included chemicals, consumer products, construction materials, kraft and fine paper, newsprint, containerboard and packaging.
In 1965, Dominion Tar and Chemical Company, Ltd. became known as Domtar Ltd. In 1977, sales in the company passed 1 billion Canadian dollars for the first time, and we began operating as Domtar, Inc.
Pulp and Paper Acquisitions
In the 1990s, we made pulp and paper our core business and grew through acquisitions in the United States and Canada.
In 2007, we combined operations with the fine paper business of Weyerhaeuser to form the Domtar Corporation, making us the largest integrated manufacturer and marketer of uncoated paper in North America and the second-largest in the world.
Here’s where young Harry Potter appears: Many of J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter books were printed on paper made at our Johnsonburg Mill in Johnsonburg, Pennsylvania.
Personal Care, Packaging
Looking for innovative ways to build growing businesses, we created a Personal Care division through multiple acquisitions and investments made between 2011 and 2016. The division manufactured absorbent hygiene products and distributed them around the globe until it was sold in 2021.
In 2020, Domtar moved to reenter the packaging business. Our mill in Kingsport, Tennessee, will become our first 100 percent-recycled packaging facility. That project is expected to be completed in early 2022.