White Birch Paper Co., the second-largest newsprint maker in North America, filed for bankruptcy reorganization, citing declining demand for newsprint.

The company's U.S. unit, Bear Island Paper Co. LLC, filed a Chapter 11 petition in Richmond, Va., while the parent company filed its papers in Quebec, Canada.

"This process is about fixing our capital structure,” said Christopher Brant, president in a statement.

“We remain committed to delivering the highest quality product to our many valued customers, and through this financial restructuring, we believe we will be better positioned to continue to do so well into the future. The filing today is an important step toward ensuring White Birch’s future as a strong competitor with a healthy balance sheet.”     

The company said it's seeking approval in both Canada and the United States for $140 million in debtor-in-possession financing that it's already secured from lenders.

White Birch maintains three mills in Quebec in addition to the Bear Island facility in Ashland, Va.

The company employs some 1,100 people.

The industry's largest newsprint vendor, AbitibiBowater, filed for bankruptcy protection last year.

 

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