Press Release

Mesirow Financial Advises Appleton Papers on the Sale of its Performance Packaging Division to an Affiliate of Mason Wells

CHICAGO, IL – Mesirow Financial acted as the exclusive financial advisor to Appleton Papers Inc. ("Appleton Papers") on the sale of its Performance Packaging division ("Appleton Performance Packaging" or the "Business") to an affiliate of Mason Wells, a Milwaukee-based private equity firm. Appleton Performance Packaging is a leading manufacturer of custom single and multi-layer polyethylene blown films for the flexible packaging market. The Business designs and produces a complete line of mono, co-extrusion and up to nine-layer barrier films. Appleton Performance Packaging's operations consist of three strategically placed manufacturing facilities located in Rhinelander, WI, Milton, WI and Turners Falls, MA. The Business will be renamed NEX Performance Films Inc. ("NEX"), and will be owned by Mason Wells, current management and other co-investors.

Tom Ferree, Chief Financial Officer of Appleton Papers, commented, "Mesirow Financial's professionals did a great job executing the sale to Mason Wells and their middle-market paper and packaging focus was instrumental in generating a competitive process and ultimately consummating the transaction."

Louis Mitchell, Managing Director of Mesirow Financial, said, "Appleton Performance Packaging is an impressive business with a first-rate reputation in the packaging industry. We were honored to represent the Appleton Papers' shareholders in this process."

The transaction represents another successful assignment completed by Mesirow Financial's Investment Banking Group. Having completed over 75 packaging transactions in recent years, Mesirow Financial is one of the most active advisors in the paper and packaging sector.

Mason Wells is a private equity firm that manages over $1 billion of capital through Mason Wells Buyout Funds. Mason Wells focuses its investments on Specialty Packaging, Engineered Products and Business Service companies. Mason Wells' plastics-related holdings include Oliver Products Co. of Grand Rapids, MI, a converter of plastic films for foodservice and medical packaging; and Coatings Excellence International LLC, which has wide web extrusion coating and laminating capabilities and makes woven polypropylene bags in Wrightstown, WI.

Nothing contained herein constitutes an offer to sell or a solicitation of an offer to buy an interest in any Mesirow investment vehicle(s). Mesirow Financial, Inc. is not affiliated with Appleton Papers Inc., Mason Wells, or their affiliates. Past performance is not indicative of future results. Mesirow refers to Mesirow Financial Holdings, Inc. and its divisions, subsidiaries and affiliates. Securities offered through Mesirow Financial, Inc. member FINRA, SIPC.

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