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Billerud Reaches Agreement to Sell Idled Wisconsin Rapids Mill to Investment Group

Wisconsin Rapids Mil The Wisconsin Rapids paper mill, which at one time employed 900 people, was closed in July 2020 by former ownwer Verso Corporation. The mill had the capacity to produce 540,000 tons per year of graphic papers.

March 25, 2024 - Billerud on March 21 announced that it has reached terms with the Capital Recovery Group, LLC (CRG, LLC) for the sale of the idled Wisconsin Rapids Mill and related assets. This decision follows a thorough exploration of viable and sustainable alternatives for the mill since its idling in July 2020.

The anticipated completion of this transaction is scheduled for April 2024.

Billerud however, emphasized that it remains fully committed to the ownership and operation of the Wisconsin Rapids Converting Facility.

"This facility plays a key role in converting rolls of paper produced at our Escanaba and Quinnesec mills into folio and digital sheets, as well as sheeting cartonboard imported from our European mills. Our Midwest facilities are strategically located to ensure that we can continue to deliver our products quickly, efficiently, and cost-effectively to meet our customers' needs," the company said in a letter to its suppliers.

"We take immense pride in the rich legacy of the Wisconsin Rapids Mill within the paper and pulp industry and its contributions to the local community. Looking ahead, we are eager to continue this legacy through our converting facility, which will not only preserve over 130 jobs in the area but also indirectly support numerous roles across our supply chain," Billerud said.

Agreement Reached with Investment Group

In a separate press release on March 25, the Investment group PCR Rapids 1, LLC (PCR) said that it has reached terms with Billerud Americas Corporation for the purchase of the idled Wisconsin Rapids Mill and associated assets and soon will initiate a globally marketed effort to identify parties interested in buying the entire mill site or select portions.

PCR is a consortium of investment firms Capital Recovery Group, LLC, Rabin Worldwide, and PPL Group LLC.

According to PCR, the Wisconsin Rapids Mill site consists of approximately 1,400 acres of land, one million square feet of building space, and roughly over one mile of frontage on the Wisconsin River. The available assets include a paper and pulp mill, support services buildings, parking lots, pre-cleared and undeveloped lots, and large stretches of residential and commercial land.

PCR plans to market valuable paper machines and other significant operating equipment while searching for potential operational users.

The closure of the Wisconsin Rapids mill in 2020 was primarily due to the decline in demand for graphic papers, which was accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic.

SOURCE: Billerud and PPL Group; CRG

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