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The Association of Independent Printing Paper Merchants (AIPPM) announces that Rick Zaffiro from Leader Paper Products has been named the recipient of the 2024 Peyton Shaner Award.  The award will be formally presented at the 2024 AIPPM Annual Conference in New Orleans March 14, 2024.

Peyton Shaner was responsible for bringing together a consortium of independent paper merchants in 1992 that would become incorporated as AIPPM.  He was a passionate spokesman for the paper and printing industry and his enthusiasm for the business was contagious.  The association created the Peyton Shaner Award in 2005 to honor the memory of its founder and to recognize individuals who have demonstrated the same passion and commitment to the industry.

Rick certainly has exhibited these attributes throughout his career which began at Williamhouse, Dallas in 1983.  Rick arrived at Leader Paper in 1987 when the dynamics of the envelope industry had already begun to shift.  His persistent positive, never give up attitude forged alliances at all levels of the Leader organization and helped drive the business forward.  Early in his career, Rick developed the “Celebrate” line of announcements where he formed strategic relationships with vendors as well as developed the packaging and marketing plan for the product line.  Later on, Rick established the Atlanta and Philadelphia distribution centers and was single handedly responsible for the creation of Leader’s discount and rebate system.  Most importantly were the relationships and confidence Rick built with customers through the years.  David Wilke, fourth generation owner of Leader Paper, stated “Rick’s commitment and devotion isn’t just to Leader Paper but the entire industry, bottom line is that Rick loves the paper business and the people who move it forward!”

Please join the AIPPM in congratulating Rick Zaffiro for earning this worthy recognition that honors its founder.

AIPPM today consists of 21 independent merchant shareholders in the continental US, Canada, Mexico, and Puerto Rico.  The purpose of AIPPM is to bring growth and value to its shareholders by leveraging its purchasing and marketing opportunities, sharing and encouraging the uses of best business practices, and promoting the healthy exchange of ideas.

SWM and Neenah to Combine in All-Stock Transaction to Create a ~$3 Billion Global Leader in Specialty Materials.

  • Positioned to Better Serve Customers with Leading Technologies, Innovation, and Global Scale

  • Expect at Least $65 Million in Annual Run-Rate Cost Synergies Achieved in 24-36 Months

  • Complementary High-Growth Product Portfolios to Accelerate Revenue Opportunities

  • Combined Company to Have Strong Financial Prole with Additional Flexibility

  • Companies to Host Conference Call Today at 8:30 a.m. ET

ALPHARETTA, Ga.--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- Schweitzer-Mauduit International, Inc. (NYSE: SWM) (“SWM”) and Neenah, Inc. (NYSE: NP) (“Neenah”), two leading global manufacturers of specialty materials, today announced that they have entered into a denitive agreement to combine in an all-stock merger of equals with combined revenues of approximately $3 billion, expanded scale and capabilities, and accelerated growth opportunities.

This transaction brings together two organizations with highly complementary technologies, geographies and product portfolios in specialty materials. The combined company will capitalize on powerful megatrends with strong positions in large, growing categories including Filtration, Healthcare & Wellness, Protective & Adhesive Solutions, Industrial Solutions, and Packaging & Specialty Paper.

Under the terms of the agreement, which was unanimously approved by the Boards of Directors of both companies, shareholders of Neenah will receive 1.358 shares of SWM common stock for each share of Neenah common stock owned. Following the closing of the transaction, SWM shareholders will own approximately 58 percent of the combined company, and Neenah shareholders will own approximately 42 percent of the combined company, in each case, on a fully diluted basis.

“I’m proud of the work our team has done to successfully expand and grow our global portfolio over the last several years, adding core capabilities and scale to better serve our customers. This merger is an exciting next step on our journey and one that will deliver signicant shareholder value,” said Dr. Je Kramer, Chief Executive Ocer of SWM. “SWM has earned a reputation as a critical solutions provider. The combination with Neenah is a continuation of our strategic intent to solve our customers’ most complex design challenges. We are excited by the numerous benets of this merger, including the signicantly broadened customer base, product lines and technical expertise. At the same time, combining the talented teams, cultures and well-run operations of Neenah and SWM will enhance our position as a world-class leader across our end-markets, poised to drive long-term growth and attractive returns. We look forward to working with the Neenah team to unlock the tremendous value of this compelling combination for all stakeholders.”

“This combination is a unique opportunity to accelerate our growth strategy and continue the transformation of our business, creating a global leader in specialty materials with strong and defensible positions in attractive end-markets,” said Julie Schertell, President and Chief Executive Ocer of Neenah. “Merging our two companies enhances our ability to grow and solve the needs of our customers for demanding, innovative products that address global challenges such as the necessity for clean water and air, sustainable alternatives, and enhanced health and wellness. The synergy potential for this transaction is signicant, and the all-stock structure enables shareholders of both companies to participate in the substantial value creation and future growth opportunities of the combined company. SWM has a talented team that shares our values, with a focus on employee safety, innovation and customer intimacy. We look forward to delivering on the potential of this transaction by capitalizing on our combined capabilities and strengths.”

Strategic and Financial Benets of the Combination

  • Creates a Global Leader in Specialty Materials with a Broad Portfolio of Solutions: Combining the Neenah and SWM product portfolios will enhance exposure to growing, global end-markets with clear megatrends of clean air and water, health and wellness, sustainability, and advanced protective solutions. Complementary capabilities exist in key categories including ltration, healthcare, tape, packaging, release liners, and adhesive solutions.

  • Highly Achievable Cost Synergies: The transaction is expected to achieve at least $65 million in annual run-rate cost synergies within 24-36 months post close. Key cost savings include organizational optimization, procurement and other supply chain eciencies, and redundant public company costs.

  • Accelerates Growth with Enhanced Scale and Larger Global Footprint: The combination is expected to accelerate long-term revenue growth, with numerous opportunities to cross-sell the extensive suite of specialty materials, leverage each company’s deep customer relationships, combined technology portfolio, and innovation capabilities. In addition, with operations spanning four continents, the combination will create a stronger presence to better serve customers both globally and regionally, with signicant opportunities to increase penetration in several geographies.

  • Strong Financial Prole and Commitment to Shareholder Value Creation: The combined company is projected to have approximately $450 million of pro-forma adjusted EBITDA (including synergies) and margins of more than 15 percent in highly specialized, defensible categories. The transaction is also expected to increase the combined company’s ability to generate cash, providing nancial stability and exibility. The combined company intends to uphold Neenah and SWM’s track records of prioritized uses of cash, including returning capital to shareholders. As a larger, well-capitalized company, the combined entity also expects to benet from greater access to capital markets, opportunities for lower cost of capital, and long-term strategic optionality.

  • Accelerates Innovation: The combined company’s suite of technologies, intellectual property, and R&D capabilities in material science is expected to accelerate the pace of innovation, with the potential to deliver breakthrough, high-growth products that better meet the ongoing needs of customers and drive long-term protability for shareholders.

  • Shared Values and Culture: SWM and Neenah have highly aligned outlooks on business, prioritizing employee safety and development, and partnering with customers to create premium, unique solutions that fuel their success. With shared commitments to environmental stewardship, sustainability, engagement, inclusion, and corporate governance, the combined business will build upon both companies’ ongoing ESG eorts.

Headquarters, Leadership and Governance

The combined company will remain headquartered in Alpharetta, Georgia and will be led by a proven management team that reects the strengths and capabilities of both organizations. Upon close, Julie Schertell, President and Chief Executive Ocer of Neenah, will serve as President and Chief Executive Ocer of the combined company. Dr. Je Kramer, Chief Executive Ocer of SWM, will serve as a strategic advisor for the combined company following the close of the transaction. A new name for the combined company will be selected in connection with the merger.

The new Board will consist of nine directors, ve of whom will be from the SWM Board and four of whom will be from the Neenah Board, including Ms. Julie Schertell. John D. Rogers, Non-Executive Chairman of the SWM Board, will serve as Non-Executive Chair of the combined company’s Board of Directors.

Approvals and Closing

The transaction has been unanimously approved by the Boards of Directors of both SWM and Neenah. The merger is expected to close in the second half of 2022, subject to Neenah and SWM shareholder approval, regulatory approvals and other customary closing conditions.

The shareholders of Impact Paper Inc. held its Annual Meeting in Charleston, SC on March 11, 2022. During the meeting, the officers and the Board of Directors for 2022 were elected as follows:

President: Jon Jones (B.W. Wilson Paper Co.)

Vice President: Brooke Lee (Anchor Paper Co.)

Secretary/Treasurer: Kevin Burden (West World Paper Inc.)

Past President: Greg Regier (Timber Creek Paper)

Directors: Tom Clarkson (Lewis Paper International Inc.)

Jay Inclan (American Paper Corp.)

Charles Perkowski (Central Paper Co.)

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