Without a buyer, Kimberly-Clark mill will close

EVERETT — Kimberly-Clark Corp., a major employer in Snohomish County, will shut down its operations here at the end of the year if a buyer isn’t found.

That’s what company officials told workers Thursday morning in meetings and also acknowledged to The Herald.

Early this year, the corporation announced that the Everett tissue mill and its companion pulp mill were for sale, saying it was difficult to make money in the pulp business.

It said it was hoping for a quick sale, but a buyer hasn’t been found.

“At this time, while we continue to pursue a possible sale agreement for the Everett mill, we must also plan for the absence of this outcome,” Bob Brand, company spokesman, said in a prepared statement issued after The Herald asked about the employee meetings. “Earlier today, we shared with our employees that we will begin preparations for scale down and closure of the Everett mill.”

The company employs about 850 people.

Brand said the company told workers today to give them as much notice as possible and “to ensure ample time to work in good faith with local mill management and union representatives to make necessary preparations for closure.”

He said that while the company is preparing for a shutdown, “we will continue to pursue a sale agreement with prospective buyers.”

In January, officials said they were confident of a sale based on initial inquiries, but that hasn’t happened.

The mills produce tissue used along the West Coast and have been a major employer for Snohomish County for decades.

Built on Everett’s waterfront in 1931 as Soundview Pulp Co., the mill helped build the city’s reputation as a prime pulp producing center. It was purchased by Scott Paper in 1951.

In that era, it employed about 2,000 people and vied with a Weyerhaeuser pulp mill as the city’s largest employer.

Kimberly-Clark engineered a $9.4 billion merger with Scott in 1995 in what was then the second-largest merger in United States history.

Since the merger, the company has invested about $300 million in the Everett operation, installing a major wastewater treatment systems, adding a new effluent outfall, and switching its pulp-making system from one based on chlorine to chlorine dioxide, which is considered more environmentally friendly.

It also teamed with Snohomish County PUD to operated a congeneration facility that burned waste wood to create electricity.

More in Herald Business Journal

Amazon lists 20 finalists for HQ2, and no, we aren’t on it

Los Angeles was the only West Coast city listed. They seem to like the nation’s capital.

Exotic animals find compassionate care in Bothell (video)

At the Center for Bird and Exotic Animal Medicine, vets treat snakes, hedgehogs and even kangaroos.

Don’t take economic forecasts to the bank — or the casino

Air travel delays could spur a rebirth of passenger rail service.

Emirates orders 20 more Airbus A380 jumbos, saving program

The Dubai carrier also has options to buy 16 more. The program seems safe until 2029.

How do you retrieve an errant Boeing 737 from a muddy slope?

Turkish authorities used cranes to lift a plane that skidded off a runway.

Amanda Strong (left) tries on an Angel of the Winds Arena hat as she and Courtney Brown hand out gift bags after the renaming ceremony Dec. 13 in Everett. The new name replaces the Xfinity name. (Andy Bronson / Her file)
Angel of the Winds to break ground on $60M casino expansion

“We think we’re on the cusp of becoming a major resort.”

House passes bill aimed at lowering gender wage gap

The bill would hinder employers from retaliating against female workers who ask about others’ pay.

Planemaker joins forces with auto-industry supplier Adient

The new venture poses a threat to Zodiac Aerospace and Rockwell Collins

In this Dec. 20, 2017, photo, a clerk reaches to a shelf to pick an item for a customer order at the Amazon Prime warehouse, in New York. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan, File)
Amazon’s potential HQ2 sites leaves many cities disappointed

Associated Press Amazon’s move to whittle its list for a second headquarters… Continue reading

Most Read