Verso Corp. to Shut Down Wickliffe Paper Mill
Verso Corp.’s Wickliffe, Kentucky-based paper mill will close after failing to find a buyer. The facility has been idle since November 2015, the result of a decline in demand for the company’s coated paper products and a significant influx of imports, according to a press release.
Verso Corp. President and CEO David Paterson made the following statement:
After an exhaustive, but ultimately unsuccessful effort to find a buyer of our Wickliffe Mill, Verso has made the difficult decision to close the facility. A handful of potential buyers expressed interest in purchasing and continuing to operate the mill, but either offered an unrealistically low purchase price or ultimately chose not to pursue the purchase. The decision to close the Wickliffe Mill is aligned with Verso’s long-held commitment to balance the supply of our products with our customers’ demand for them, and is not related to the company’s Chapter 11 proceedings.*
Approximately 310 Wikliffe Mill employees were furloughed in November, while a smaller group remained at the mill to maintain critical systems during the marketing process. Both groups of employees were notified that their last day of employment is slated for June 4.
Verso Corp. is taking all necessary steps to close the mill in a safe and environmentally responsbile manner, with the process expected to be complete by July 1.
The company did not rule out a sale in case a buyer would be identified that could continue to operate the facility, for other non-papermaking uses, wrote EUWID Pupl and Paper.
*Verso Corp. filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in January 2016.