Volume 14, No. 2 February 2021
Strategic & Financial Arguments (TM)
for the pulp and paper industry worldwide
Participating as industry experts in pulp and paper financing and M & A deals around the world for nearly three decades, we continue to see the same mistakes made over and over. This newsletter is designed to help you avoid costly mistakes we have seen others make. We will be giving you one or two points each month to help improve your performance.
The Covid-19 of 2021?

Over the weekend of 23 -25 January 2021, WestRock was hit with a ransomware attack. This seems to have been done by an entity that at least had an understanding of the paper industry. As I expressed in a hypothetical to some industry colleagues, it may have gone down like this:

20 paper machines x $30,000/hour= $600,000/hr. You will pay a pretty penny to be able to turn your paper machines back on. They apparently did this on Friday night, when you would have the least resources available. 60 hours later (Monday morning) this has cost you $600,000 x 60 = $36 million. Then, on Monday morning your box plants are back at work--losses will start there as soon as they run out of WIP.  

What is the untraceable currency to use for collecting the ransom? Bitcoin.

On top of this, at one point today the stock was down $3. If you shorted the stock on Friday and sold at the low, this is just the cherry on top.

If a foreign government was behind this with the intent of crippling our economy, there will be more of these attacks. After all boxes move the freight so to speak, and stop the boxes and you will stop the economy.
If you have a casual question or a major deal, call me on my personal cell phone - 404-822-3412 or email me at jthompson@taii.com or jim.thompson@ipulpmedia.com. We are here to help.