In a significant advance for the North American printing papers marketplace, SMART Papers today announced it will expand its focus as specialized global manufacturer of ultra-premium, environmentally responsible cast-coated and recycled matte coated printing papers following the sale of its premium uncoated printing papers business and brands to Mohawk Fine Papers Inc., Cohoes, N.Y.
SMART Papers also announced that it has named Mohawk the exclusive marketer to traditional paper distributors worldwide for SMART’s Kromekote, Knightkote Matte and SMART Digital premium coated papers. The respected, market-leading brands are widely used by commercial printers, corporate in-house printers and graphic designers across North America.
SMART Papers said it will continue to sell its coated brands directly to strategic accounts worldwide, including specialty and technical converters, OEMs, label manufacturers, laminators, packaging printers, gift and box wrap printers and greeting card companies. SMART Papers will expand its primary focus on manufacturing, marketing and product development of Kromekote, Knightkote, SMART Digital and its private label brands.
SMART Papers is the world’s largest manufacturer of premium cast-coated and recycled matte-coated printing papers used in offset printing, digital printing and package printing worldwide. The Forest Stewardship Council-certified papers contain up to 100% post consumer waste and will be produced with 100% renewable energy from SMART Papers’ new, high-efficiency co-generation facility.
Kromekote has been the global standard in cast-coated printing papers for more than 75 years and was invented at SMART’s Hamilton center. Knightkote Matte and SMART Digital have enjoyed growing demand as a value option among premium coated papers.
Seamless transition for customers
SMART and Mohawk said they will work very closely to transition manufacturing and sales of all uncoated products to Mohawk over the next 30 days. Mohawk will begin selling Kromekote and Knightkote Matte to traditional paper distribution markets after the transition period.
The well-known premium uncoated brands Mohawk acquired include: Pegasus, Carnival, Synergy, Passport, Genesis, Magna Carta, SMART Brights, Feltweave, Nekoosa Linen, Nekoosa 25% Cotton, Nekoosa Bond, Skytone, Solutions and Proterra.
“Today’s announcement positively changes the marketplace and business model for premium printing papers,” said Tim Needham, chairman of SMART Papers. “This change will be very beneficial for paper distributors, printers and other businesses that sell and use these papers. Mohawk will now offer an unmatched one-stop shopping solution of ultra-premium cast coated, recycled matte coated and best-value uncoated papers to a strong and loyal global customer base.”
“We selected Mohawk as an exclusive partner for our coated business because of its long and proven history as a world-class manufacturer with superior quality and service,” Needham added. “Mohawk and SMART are both committed to environmental leadership, new product development, innovation in marketing and sales excellence. We will have a strong partnership that will provide important new benefits to our mutual customers.”
SMART Papers said it will idle two uncoated paper machines. The company is currently exploring the development of new specialty applications and markets for its products.