My Price County
Registered: Apr 09, 2019
| PARK FALLS: PENDING NEW OWNERSHIP OF FLAMBEAU RIVER PAPERS -- UPDATED 10/3/19
UPDATE: PENDING SALE FALLS THROUGH
As of October 3, 2019, the sale of Flambeau River Papers to Element Ventures, LLC will not take place. Instead, the court-appointed receiver of the mill will try to find a new buyer but will likely be forced to hold a liquidation sale instead. If a buyer is not found and liquidation continues, in early November there will be a hearing to approve the sale of the mill's assets.
An auction took place in Madison on Wednesday, September 18th for the purchase of Flambeau River Papers. The results of that auction were conditionally approved by Judge Kevin Klein on the 19th at the Price County Courthouse.
Element Ventures, LLC, formed in late August, is under the direction of William Johnson, Jr., the son of Flambeau River Papers' last CEO, William "Butch" Johnson. The new company is in the process of obtaining Flambeau River Papers, though the purchase price was not disclosed publicly.
There is one contingency with the offer, which will need to be worked out for the sale to complete. The contingency is that Element Ventures, LLC must reach an agreement with LignoTech USA, a specialty chemicals company. If that contingency fails, another auction of the mill's assets will be held at the end of September.
Michael Bablick, mayor of Park Falls, reacted with, "It is what it is. The city will cooperate in any manner, which is reasonable and in the interests of its taxpayers, to maximize employment." He added, "I think the Wisconsin Chapter 128 receivership¯ process could be improved."¯
Judge Kevin Klein, feeling encouraged at the close of court proceedings, stated, “The court is confident that the proposed purchaser really is the only chance for the mill to be open and operating moving forward."
Since Flambeau River Papers re-opened after shutting down earlier this summer, it has been able to employ over 120 of the over 180-some workers it once had for day to day operations. If this new ownership takes place, the mill will be able to continue operations in the near future with over 100 employees.
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[Edited by My Price County on Oct 05, 2019 at 09:45 AM]