Advocating for Wisconsin...Full Story
Ken [at] KenHarwood.com
This Weeks Articles...
WISCONSIN RAPIDS, Wis. (WSAW) - The president of the group looking to purchase the paper mill in Wisconsin Rapids said he is cautiously optimistic about a Scandinavian company acquiring Verso, the current owner of that mill.
Monday, BillerudKorsnäs and Verso announced the acquisition, with BillerudKorsnäs purchasing Verso’s outstanding shares for about $825 million. The president and CEO of BillerudKorsnäs, Christoph Michalski laid out in a press conference their plans to ramp up production at Verso’s Upper Michigan mills, however, he said they were still determining whether to sell the Wisconsin Rapids location.
“We’ve been working on things right along actually with Verso,” Dennis Schoeneck, the president of the Timber Professionals Cooperative said. “They’ve just been dragging their feet and now I know exactly why.”
The cooperative has tried to purchase the Wisconsin Rapids mill twice since it closed in the summer of 2020...
(WSAW) - Verso Corporation has entered into a definitive merger agreement with BillerudKorsnäs. The fate of the Wisconsin Rapids mill and hydroelectric power plant are uncertain, however.
The president and CEO of BillerudKorsnäs Christoph Michalski said in a press conference Monday morning that while it has big plans for Verso’s Escanaba and Quinnesec mills, they are still deciding what they will do with the Wisconsin Rapids mill and hydroelectric power company....
Ken Notes: A lot of news on this, we will keep you in the loop. Also a reminder we are ONLY the messenger here and will try to find the whole store as we move forward...
US Paper Mills Corporation
4.8 (4) · Paper mill
De Pere, WI
Open now · (920) 336-4229
BPM Inc. A Specialty Paper Mill
4.4 (8) · Paper mill
Open ? Closes 4PM · (715) 582-4551
Domtar Paper Co LLC
3.7 (9) · Paper mill
Open 24 hours · (715) 886-7111
Verso Pulp Power and Recovery Plant
3.0 (2) · Paper mill
Wisconsin Rapids, WI
Open now · (715) 422-3777
ND Paper - Biron Mill-18057 pm25
4.1 (14) · Paper mill
Wisconsin Rapids, WI
Open 24 hours · (715) 422-2100
3.4 (5) · Paper mill
Wisconsin Rapids, WI
Open now · (715) 422-3111
No reviews · Paper mill
4.4 (25) · Paper mill
Open now · (715) 359-3101
International Paper Container Plant
3.5 (8) · Paper mill
Open now · (920) 684-4454
3.9 (27) · Paper mill
Wisconsin Rapids, WI
Open 24 hours · (715) 422-3111
5.0 (1) · Paper mill
Wisconsin Rapids, WI
Open now · (715) 422-1616
4.0 (1) · Paper mill
Open now · (800) 558-5061
3.7 (3) · Paper mill
Open now · (800) 558-5061
Shawano Paper Mill
4.2 (5) · Paper mill
Open ? Closes 4:30PM · (800) 543-5554
3.0 (2) · Paper mill
Open now · (920) 721-7031
Appleton Papers Inc
No reviews · Paper mill
No reviews · Paper mill
South Range, WI
Open now · (715) 398-3281
International Paper Co
No reviews · Government office
Sustana Fiber Fox River
4.3 (6) · Paper mill
De Pere, WI
Open ? Closes 5PM · (920) 339-9880
Midwest Paper Group
4.1 (27) · Paper mill
Combined Locks, WI
Open now · (888) 488-6742
MADISON, Wis. (WSAW) - Late Thursday afternoon the Wisconsin Assembly passed a bill to save paper mills in Wisconsin Rapids and Park Falls.
Republican Representative Scott Krug of Rome, recently introduced the second Mill Bill after the first was vetoed by Gov. Evers in July.
Rep. Calvin Callahan voted in favor of the bill. “The Assembly has found and passed a bipartisan solution that we believe will get the Northwoods forestry economy back in gear,” stated Rep. Callahan. “By providing funding to the Wisconsin Rapids mill to keep it semi-operational through the winter and for Park Falls in a loan to help purchase the mill for an organization that will make it operational again, I believe this is a proposal we can use to save jobs and livelihoods.”...
MIAMISBURG, Ohio, Nov. 5, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- Verso Corporation (NYSE: VRS) today reported financial results for the third quarter of 2021 and announced that its Board of Directors has declared a quarterly cash dividend for the quarter ending December 31, 2021, in the amount of $0.10 per each outstanding share of Verso`s Class A common stock. The quarterly cash dividend is payable on December 29, 2021 to Verso`s stockholders of record holding shares of common stock at the close of business December 17, 2021.
Third Quarter 2021 Highlights:
Work will go on to save two northern Wisconsin paper mills.
The efforts by state representatives Scott Krug of Nekoosa and Jeff Mursau of Crivitz target idled paper mills in Wisconsin Rapids and Park Falls.
Mursau talked about what they have in mind….
“Representative Krug and myself will be introducing legislation that will help the mill in Park Falls, and also the mill in Wisconsin Rapids where Verso is located”
Mursau says they know how important those mills are to both communities and the state.
“We know how critical it is that these mills stay in operation with the industry being a $24-billion industry in this state, and it’s critical that we work as hard as we can to keep these mills going”
Mursau says more details will come out later. The Republican is hoping that the proposal can be something both sides will get on board with.
Businesses are grappling with impacts of Wisconsin Rapids Verso mill closed in June 2020
Rhinelander, Wis. (WSAW) - In June 2020, the Verso paper mill in Wisconsin Rapids closed its doors. The nearly 1,000 employees of the mill were left jobless. However, thousands more were impacted by the closure as well.
Logging businesses around the state have felt the impacts of the closure. Loggers, drivers and other buyers have dealt with the economic turbulence of losing one of the largest paper epicenters in the state.
Dennis Schoeneck owns Enterprise Forest Products in Rhinelander. He said the impacts were instantaneous.
“It was immediate. Absolutely immediate effect for us. 80% of our wood went to Rapids,” said Schoeneck. “We had trucks leaving our job and I got a phone call saying that they can come with that one, but don’t send them again.”...
AIR DATE: Thursday, October 28, 2021, 7:30am
The printing paper market remains in turmoil, as print providers serving all markets scramble to secure various paper grades, at affordable pricing levels and with reasonable lead times, from mills and distributors that have reduced manufacturing capacity and enacted supply allocations. Now, it appears a cloud of uncertainty remains over U.S.-based coated paper supplier Verso Corp...
...Verso has also reduced mill capacity and sold off assets. It blamed COVID-19 and the subsequent drop in demand for graphic paper used to produce advertising materials as the main driver for the July 2020 shutdowns of its mills in Wisconsin Rapids, Wis., and Duluth, Minn. Its Jay (Androscoggin), Maine, mill and its Stevens Point, Wis.-based specialty papers business were also divested to Pixelle Specialty Solutions in early 2020....
WISCONSIN RAPIDS - Verso Corp. announced Tuesday it would continue considering Atlas Holding LLC’s offer to purchase the company if Atlas increased its offer to more than $20 per share.
In a release Tuesday morning, Verso announced it has entered into a confidentiality agreement with Atlas. In August, Verso announced it had formed a special committee and was consulting with independent advisers to evaluate the proposal. In Tuesday’s announcement, Verso said the committee and advisers determined the $20 per share offer was insufficient.
As of noon Tuesday, Verso’s stock had risen more than 3% to $19.97 per share.
If Atlas ends up purchasing Verso, the sale would include the Wisconsin Rapids mill that shut down last year, as it is still a Verso property, although it is too soon to tell what Atlas would choose to do with it...
Written By: News Tribune Editorial Board | 10:00 am, Sep. 14, 2021
It might not be much to look at, just a hulking, earth-toned, mostly windowless factory-like structure. But our paper mill in West Duluth continues to be a shining example for our city and for all of Minnesota of the jobs-supporting, community fortunes-bolstering success that can come from true bipartisanship and public-private cooperation.
The example was reinforced last week when the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development announced it would provide $1.3 million from the state’s Job Creation Fund to help ST Paper of Wisconsin reopen the shuttered former Verso Paper Mill...
...Duluth`s paper mill can be around for a long time, bolstering fortunes from the shores of the St. Louis River and helping pull Duluth and the state of Minnesota out of this latest economic downturn.
Pandemic Disruption, Verso Mill Closure Have Hit Forestry Industry Hard
Northwoods loggers say the 2020 closure of a central Wisconsin paper mill has caused pulp wood prices to decline.
They`re eligible for a newly launched federal pandemic aid program, but some say it`s not likely to fully offset the losses they`ve experienced in the last 18 months.
A group of logging and hauling professionals talked about the challenges their industry faces in a roundtable discussion with U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin, D-Madison, last week in Eagle River. Baldwin supported a federal program through the U.S. Department of Agriculture called Pandemic Assistance for Timber Harvesters and Haulers, which funds $200 million in new economic relief payments for professionals who lost at least 10 percent of their business as a result of the pandemic. Initial payments of $2,000 started going out in late August. Recipients will be eligible for up to $125,000. ...
Chanel 12 News Published 08/31/2021 - Elcho - Dennis Schoeneck has been logging the forests of northern Wisconsin for decades.
Up here, the logging industry is in unfamiliar territory. Schoeneck used to send a lot of his wood to the Wisconsin Rapids Verso Paper Mill. But on June 9, it shut down. That left him and his employees hanging.
"When they called and said no more deliveries, that`s pretty immediate, the effect it has on us," said Schoeneck. "So we had to scramble and figure out what is our next move."
Schoeneck and many other loggers took a hit financially. Since the closure of the Park Falls and Wisconsin Rapids mills, some loggers have been making 15 to 20 percent less for their timber. Meanwhile the prices of other products, such as fuel and machinery, are going up.
In an effort to stabilize the Wisconsin timber industry, Schoeneck and others formed a co-op to purchase and run the Wisconsin Rapids and Park Falls mills.
"It`s a successful, long, sustainable plan for that mill," said Schoeneck...
When Gov. Tony Evers vetoed AB 367 in early July, it was not over the merits or even politics of what had up until that point, been a bipartisan deal. Rather, it was over concerns if the federal government would allow COVID-19 relief funds to be used as part of the broader economic development deal.
Rather than just complaining about the governor’s veto of the important legislation, Rep. James Edming and other members of the state legislature should get back to work to craft a work-around to keep the momentum going and ensure future markets for Wisconsin’s logging industry.
At the same time, the legislature must make a renewed investment at the state level into working with logging industry groups and leveraging private investment to bring increased diversity to the state’s timber markets especially toward providing alternative value-added uses for timber which would have otherwise been heading to paper mills.
The original “Mill Bill” provided for a $50 million loan package with the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) as part of a larger deal involving private funding and loans through the Bureau of Commissioners of Public land and tapping into federal stimulus funds for a group to reopen the Verso Paper Mill in Wisconsin Rapids. This would have allowed Timber Professionals Cooperative, a Wisconsinbased organization made up of timber producers and forest owners affiliated with the Wisconsin County Forests Association, to purchase, retool and reopen the Verso mill in Wisconsin Rapids and the Park Falls mill....
Wisconsin Rapids City Times staff sat down with Mayor Shane Blaser to get an update on activities in the city.
Verso Mill facilities update
Mayor Blaser said that activities with the mill were very quiet since Atlas announced their interest in the facilities.
“We just don’t have any one-on-one communication with them; I haven’t in a long time, but it is a private business so they have no obligation to have any of that communication with us,” he said. “So, it is kind of waiting and seeing.”
However, Blaser said that there is still business occurring at the mill.
“I look across at the mill every day and there is still Sunoco (Products) –the company within the mill – that is still operating with over 100 employees. They bought, basically, the recycled paper end. It used to be Corenso when it was under Consolidated. So, Sunoco is still operating there – a standalone, viable company that is doing well – and they are working hard to make sure that they stay in the community and that they are viable in the current setting that they are in now.
“Because, there is a lot of sharing of stuff – power, wastewater, water – all flows through the mill to them, so they are trying to be in the same building but separate so they are their own standalone. That is a really good, strong company there.”...
MIAMISBURG, Ohio, Aug. 6, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- Verso Corporation (NYSE: VRS) today reported financial results for the second quarter of 2021 and announced that its Board of Directors has declared a quarterly cash dividend for the quarter ending September 30, 2021, in the amount of $0.10 per each outstanding share of Verso`s Class A common stock. The quarterly cash dividend is payable on September 28, 2021 to Verso`s stockholders of record holding shares of common stock at the close of business September 17, 2021.
Second Quarter 2021 Highlights:
08.07.2021 - The board of directors for Verso Corp. has formed a special committee to evaluate an offer to purchase the company.
At Verso’s second quarter earnings conference call Friday morning, Randy Nebel, Verso’s president and CEO, said the special committee is made up of two non-executive parties and “disinterested parties” and retained independent advisors to evaluate the proposal from Atlas Holdings LLC and any other options Verso might have. The committee will then make a recommendation to the Verso board.
Nebel said Verso will not comment or disclose anything else at this time.
In July, Atlas Holdings LLC filed a proposal to purchase Verso Corp. for $20 per share in cash. Verso responded, confirming it received the unsolicited proposal and said it would talk with its financial and legal advisors to carefully review the proposal to determine what’s best for Verso and its stockholders. Verso said there is no assurance that any negotiations would happen, much less a sale...
...If Atlas ends up acquiring Verso, the sale would include the Wisconsin Rapids mill that shut down last year, as it is still a Verso property. But it`s too soon to tell what Atlas would choose to do with that mill.......Full Story
CENTRAL WISCONSIN – Atlas Holdings, LLC, has announced its intent to purchase Verso in its entirety, following Gov. Tony Evers’ veto of Assembly Bill No. 367, which was designed to provide assistance in restarting the Wisconsin Rapids Verso mill.
The bill, authored by Sen. Patrick Testin (Stevens Point) and Rep. Scott Krug (town of Rome), passed in the state Senate on June 30, after passing the Assembly on June 22.
The bill would have provided a $50 million loan to a buyer for the Wisconsin Rapids paper mill and a $15 million loan to a buyer for the Park Falls paper mill. Both Verso mills are currently idle.
The Great Lakes Timber Professionals Association (GLTPA) has also been working with the University of Wisconsin in forming a cooperative entity to purchase the mill and return it to operation as a soft/pulpwood plant.
Incorporated as Timber Professionals Cooperative (TPC), the group was working to obtain the necessary funding and making other arrangements with Verso to purchase and operate the mill......Full Story
A preliminary offer to buy out Verso Paper has brought new uncertainty to an effort by timber-industry businesses that have formed a cooperative to buy Verso’s shuttered Wisconsin Rapids plant and reopen it.
Verso confirmed Wednesday that it has been offered $20 a share by Atlas Holdings LLC, but the company said it would not comment on the unsolicited bid “until it is appropriate to do so or a formal agreement has been reached.”
Verso owns operating paper mills in Escanaba and Quinnesec, Mich., along with an operating paper converting plant in Wisconsin Rapids.
Verso’s papermaking plant in Wisconsin Rapids closed a year ago. In response, members of the timber industry and other associated businesses have formed a cooperative with the intent to buy and reopen the paper mill......Full Story
WISCONSIN RAPIDS – Earlier this week, Atlas Holdings LLC filed a proposal to purchase Verso Corp. for $20 per share in cash, but that`s just an opening offer and it doesn’t mean it’s anywhere close to a done deal.
Verso responded early Wednesday morning, confirming it received Atlas’ proposal to acquire the company, but said there is no assurance that any negotiations would happen, much less a sale.
Here’s what we know...
MIAMISBURG, Ohio, July 14, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- Verso Corporation (NYSE: VRS) confirmed that it has received an unsolicited proposal from Atlas Holdings LLC regarding a potential transaction to acquire all outstanding shares of Class A common stock of Verso for $20.00 per share in cash.
There can be no assurance that any negotiations between Verso and Atlas Holdings LLC regarding this proposal will take place, and if such negotiations do take place, there can be no assurance that any transaction with Atlas Holdings LLC will occur or be consummated. Verso does not intend to make any additional comments regarding the proposal or any other related matter or potential transaction unless and until it is appropriate to do so or a formal agreement has been reached...
A previous suiter for Verso Corp. is back with a new offer to buy the company.
Atlas Holdings LLC, in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission said the company is offering $20 per share for Verso’s outstanding stock shares, buying out Verso entirely. The estimated value of the company is $866 million, according to Atlas Holdings.
Atlas sent a letter to Verso Sunday via email, announcing its proposal to purchase Verso, saying the company is already a long-term Verso investor, owning shares representing about 9% of the company`s voting power. Timothy Fazio, Atlas Holdings` managing partner stated Atlas is "extremely enthusiastic about this proposed transaction."
Verso stock jumped 10.4% Monday, closing at $19.04 per share...
Ken Notes: Lets hope we can get Atlas to reopen the mills or spin them off as a part of the sale...
After the sale of a closed Verso Corp. paper mill in Duluth, Minnesota, we examine the current status of Wisconsin’s paper industry and trends among manufacturers....
Ken Notes: This is an audio story from WPR one of my favorite resources...
July 1, 2021 - WISCONSIN RAPIDS – If there are two things Wisconsin lawmakers agree on in central Wisconsin, it’s that they want to help restart the paper mill that has been shut down for a year in Wisconsin Rapids, and members of the other party are playing games.
On Wednesday, the state Senate sent a bill to Gov. Tony Evers that would provide up to $50 million in federal pandemic aid loans to a timber cooperative that`s seeking to buy and operate the mill that Verso closed in Wisconsin Rapids last year. The bill also authorizes a loan of up to $15 million for a cooperative to buy a second paper mill that closed in Park Falls. The Senate passed the legislation this week....
June 22, 2021 - MADISON, Wis. (AP) — The Wisconsin Assembly has passed a bill designed to save two shuttered paper mills.
The bill passed Tuesday would make available a $50 million loan to a cooperative that wants to buy the shuttered Verso paper mill in Wisconsin Rapids and make a $15 million loan for a cooperative working to purchase the paper mill in Park Falls formerly known as Flambeau River Papers.
The money would come from federal coronavirus relief money. The bill came after a year of discussion with state, local and federal officials about how to save the Verso mill, which closed in June 2020 after more than a hundred years of operation. It employed 900 people...
Ken Notes: Next steps back to senate, signature, management / ownership team, hire and rehire workers, bring in wood and raw materials and startup. Not easy but clearly doable...
Members of the Wisconsin legislature must act quickly to bring AB 367 to Gov. Tony Evers’ desk for signature.
The bill provides for a $50 million loan package with the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) as part of a larger deal involving private funding and loans through the Bureau of Commissioners of Public land and tapping into federal stimulus funds for a group to reopen the Verso Paper Mill in Wisconsin Rapids. The newly formed Timber Professional Cooperative is a Wisconsin-based organization made up of timber producers and forest owners affiliated with the Wisconsin County Forests Association. They are seeking to acquire the mill in order to secure the long-term future markets for Wisconsin wood products.
Forest products are the second largest industry in Wisconsin, supporting more than 64,000 jobs statewide and contributing more than $24 billion each year to the state’s economy. ...
June 8, 2021 - MADISON – On June 8, the State Assembly’s Committee on State Affairs voted to pass Assembly Bill No. 367 (AB 367), which will provide state assistance to support the purchase of the former Verso paper mill in Wisconsin Rapids.
AB 367 was introduced by Rep. Scott Krug (R-Rome) and Sen. Patrick Testin (R-Stevens Point) in late May.
An amendment was added to the bill to provide assistance with the purchase of the paper mill in Park Falls. As amended, the bill would provide loans from two sources in support of each purchase.
The Wisconsin Rapids mill sale would be provided with a $50 million loan from federal stimulus money, which would have to be approved by Governor Tony Evers, and a $50 million loan from the State of Wisconsin Board of Commissioners of Public Lands (BCPL).
The Park Falls mill sale would be provided with loans of $15 million, one loan coming from stimulus money and one loan coming from BCPL...
Ken Notes: We are happy to see this but still are in need of a good deal from Verso and a great management / ownership team. The Consolidated Cooperative of Rhinelander, a co-op entity formed with the backing of the Great Lakes Timber Professionals Association is on the right track...
MADISON, WI (WSAU) — A public hearing on a bill that would authorize a $50 million WEDC loan for the group looking to buy the Verso paper mill in Wisconsin Rapids is set for a public hearing on Wednesday.
Representative Scott Krug of Nekoosa is the bill’s sponsor, and while the project lies squarely in his district he says this isn’t something that only Rapids residents are interested in. “I get more phone calls and emails about this from people in the Northwoods than from Wisconsin Rapids. That’s how much of an impact this has on the upper 2/3rds of Wisconsin. This isn’t just a Wisconsin Rapids mill that Representative Krug needs for his pet project,” he said.
The hearing is scheduled for 1 PM in Room 225 NW at the State Capitol. Despite the short notice, Krug says it’s important that the concerns of those not only in Wisconsin Rapids but the state’s timber industry as a whole are heard...
WISCONSIN RAPIDS – About 60 local firefighters responded to a fire Tuesday night at the Verso paper mill in Wisconsin Rapids.
Todd Eckes, deputy chief/fire marshal with the Wisconsin Rapids Fire Department, said in a news release Wednesday morning a fiberglass stack that was part of the idled hardwood digester at the mill caught fire. Fire and heat compromised the stack and it collapsed, which started fires in and around the digester tower.
The extent of the damage to the mill is unknown at this time, but it appears the fire damage was limited to the stack area in the No. 1 digester building, Eckes said...
After the sale of a closed Verso Corp. paper mill in Duluth, Minnesota, we examine the current status of Wisconsin’s paper industry and trends among manufacturers.
Gov. Tony Evers wants to get idle paper mills in Park Falls and Wisconsin Rapids running again.
He’s included millions of dollars in loans as part of a $1 billion special spending package to do that.
The paper mill in Park Falls has only been operational for a few months since first shutting down in 2019, and last June, Verso announced it was stopping production at its Wisconsin Rapids mill.
Those moves came at the cost of hundreds of jobs.
But on Wednesday, Evers announced he will call the legislature into special session to consider spending $1 billion to help the state’s economic recovery. The plan would also expand Medicaid in Wisconsin, something that has been rejected by Republicans in the past...
Ken Notes: It appears that the special session will not take up this (or any) legislation, so we will keep you informed as this progresses...
WISCONSIN RAPIDS – Multiple agencies responded to a fire Tuesday night at the Verso paper mill in Wisconsin Rapids.
Matthew Feder, a lieutenant with the Wisconsin Rapids Fire Department, said a call came in at 8:17 p.m. Tuesday that smoke and flames were coming out of a smokestack and the roof at the Verso paper mill at 1100 W. Riverview Expressway.
As of 10:30 p.m. crews from the Wisconsin Rapids, Grand Rapids, Biron, Vesper and Nekoosa fire departments, Saratoga First Responders and Nekoosa ambulance service were still on the scene.
Feder said it`s too early to tell what the cause of the fire was, and crews will continue to investigate.
Ken Notes: We will continue to follow this and update the website at 5PNews.com.
Recycled, Packaging Products Are Growth Markets For Paper Producers
The sale of a closed paper mill in Duluth, Minnesota will bring back at least 80 jobs to the region. It`s the latest move affecting Wisconsin workers in a roiling paper industry.
Verso Corp. announced Monday that it would sell its Duluth mill, which employed more than 200 people in the Duluth-Superior area before it closed last year, to the Virginia-based ST Paper and Tissue. That company, which also operates a mill in Oconto Falls, will invest a reported $54 million to convert the Duluth facility into a manufacturer of recycled-paper napkins and other tissues.
It`s part of broader shifts in the paper industry that are being felt at other Wisconsin manufacturers and in related industries such as logging. Two growing parts of the paper industry are the production of recycled products and of the corrugated cardboard used for shipping boxes....
...Verso`s sale of its Duluth mill also brings attention to the future of the company`s much larger Wisconsin Rapids mill, which it closed in July 2020. That closure laid off about 900 workers, wiping out the central Wisconsin city`s largest employer. In November, Verso said it had put a "pause" on efforts to sell the Wisconsin Rapids mill....
Ken Notes: One down one to go....
WISCONSIN RAPIDS, Wis. (WSAW) - Dennis Schoeneck, owner of Enterprise Forest Products in Pelican Lake, said his “business changed immediately on June 9, 2020? when the Verso Mill in Wisconsin Rapids suddenly closed.
“It was 9 o’clock in the morning when I got the call that said as of this afternoon, don’t ever ship another load there.”
His business harvests trees and over 40 years he sent, “a lot,” he laughed, “you know, 80% of our business went there.”
The paper mill processed about a quarter of Wisconsin’s timber market....
Minnesota - A provision in a bill recently approved by the Minnesota House of Representatives could help breathe new life into the Duluth paper mill, following Verso Corp.`s June decision to shut the plant down.
SEE ALSO: Verso to indefinitely idle Duluth paper mill; Duluth mayor hopeful plant will reactivate in some form......Full Story
WISCONSIN RAPIDS – A cooperative formed after the closure of Verso’s paper mill has toured the facility and filed a letter of intent to purchase the Wisconsin Rapids mill, State Rep. Scott Krug, R-Nekoosa, told the Wisconsin Rapids Together Task Force Wednesday.
The group met briefly Wednesday morning for the first time since October.
Krug told the task force he has been talking with David Sams, Verso`s vice president of environmental health, safety and sustainability; Gov. Tony Evers; and members of the Consolidated Cooperative, which was formed by the Great Lakes Timber Professionals Association with the intent to purchase the mill.
Krug said Sams told him Verso would continue running converting operations at the mill, and Verso is continuing to weigh all of its options, including possibly restarting the entire mill themselves...
Ken Notes: Send Scott your support on this issue...
Verso Corporation announced the appointment of Randy J. Nebel as President and Chief Executive Officer. Mr. Nebel has served as interim President and Chief Executive Officer since October 2020 and has been a member of Verso`s Board of Directors since November 2019.
"We are pleased that Randy has accepted our offer to transition from the interim role to a permanent position," said Chairman of the Board Sean Erwin. "His more than 40 years of knowledge in the paper and packaging industry, combined with his breadth of executive leadership experience, make him the right choice for this role."
"Since becoming interim President and CEO in October, I have had the privilege of working with Verso`s talented and dedicated team, spending time in our mills, meeting with customers and creating a dialogue with our investors," said Nebel. "I am optimistic about the opportunities ahead and look forward to continuing to work closely with our team and Board to execute company strategic goals and initiatives that achieve results and create long-term value for all of our stakeholders."...
Ken Notes: Welcome Randy!
Chris Fleege, director of Duluth`s planning and economic development department, suggests that members of the Duluth Economic Development Authority will find an extra $40,000 expenditure `a sound investment.`...Full Story
Duluth will retain the services of a consulting firm at least a while longer in hopes that it can find a new owner for the Verso paper mill, which has been idled since summer.
On Wednesday night, the Duluth Economic Development Authority unanimously approved spending up to $40,000 more to extend a contract with Baker Tilly Municipal Advisors LLC, increasing the maximum total payout the firm could receive to as much as $99,610.
There may be some hope for the future of the Verso Paper Mill in Wisconsin Rapids.
When operating, the mill bought timber from loggers across northern Wisconsin.
Mayor Shane Blaser says talks with Verso about the paper mill in his city have warmed up in recent weeks.
“They’re still intent to sell the mill. So we’re hoping to see that happen and support it in whatever way we can and hopefully see that switch turned back on”, said Blaser...
Combination Creates Largest Specialty Papers Business in North AmericaAdvanced Capabilities Establish Pixelle as Specialty Papers “Center of Excellence”
PRING GROVE, Pa.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Pixelle Specialty Solutions (“Pixelle”) has completed its acquisition of specialty papers mills in Jay, ME (”Androscoggin”) and Stevens Point, WI from Verso Corporation. With the addition of the newly acquired mills, Pixelle is now the largest specialty papers producer in North America with production currently exceeding one million tons annually. Pixelle has industry-leading positions in multiple specialty paper grades including release papers, thermal labels, food and beverage labels, food packaging papers, inkjet papers, casting liners, book papers, carbonless and forms, security papers, envelope and converting papers, and various niche products....Full Story
Pixelle’s Chief Executive Officer, Timothy Hess, commenting on the business combination, said: “Customers now have access to the specialty papers industry’s largest assembly of technical expertise, product knowledge, skilled labor and production capabilities. At this industry-leading scale, we can provide customers with advanced capabilities such as barrier coatings, customized coating technologies, release and casting chemistries, inkjet innovations, document security, and short-run custom colors.”
Ken Notes: So Verso does sell some things...
Idle Of Verso Mill In Wisconsin Rapids Put 900 Out Of Work In July
The owner of the largest paper mill in central Wisconsin has taken a "pause" on plans to sell the mill, leaving nearly 900 laid-off workers in limbo.
Verso Corporation announced in June that it would shut down mills in Wisconsin Rapids and Duluth, Minnesota, laying off about 900 workers in Wisconsin Rapids and another 100 in the Duluth-Superior area. The mills have been idle since the end of July, leaving the vast majority of workers out of a job...
Ken Notes: Marty and I understand that these are difficult times, but this mill is an important part of the region and Wisconsin. We need to exert any pressure that we can to facilitate the reopening of this mill. If they believe the mill is worth more we should reflect that value in our assessment for property taxes, we should put a timeline on state incentives for the sale, and we should back the stance taken by Krug and Testin.
Marty: Wisconsin and the United States can’t allow us to lose such a valuable asset. We allow a number of foreign paper mills to export paper at the expense of the Wisconsin. Like the Automobile industry, we have to bring ALL parties to get together to support the Wisconsin Paper Industries. I would ask that Verso reach out to us to come up with some innovative solutions to SAVE THE MILL! I started my career at Consolidated Paper, Inc. and we were the largest paper mill in the world!
Last week the Wisconsin Environment Research & Policy Center, along with the Plastic Pollution Coalition, BRINGiT, and Student PIRG chapters, are pressing Whole Foods to rein in their expanded use of single-use plastic packaging and have sent a letter to John Mackey, Whole Foods’ CEO urging him to take action on tackling plastic waste. Megan Severson talks with Jan Miyasaki about their efforts.
The identity of an interested prospective buyer remains under wraps, but any sale likely would involve a massive investment to convert the plant`s production to materials used in packaging.
Continued talks with representatives of a company interested in perhaps acquiring the shuttered Verso paper mill in Duluth have intensified in recent weeks, drawing increased attention to the fate of the facility and the 220-plus people it employed before a shutdown was announced in late June.
Randy Nebel, Verso`s newly appointed president and CEO, hinted at the possibility of a sale of the Duluth facility during a Nov. 9 earnings call.
In response to an analyst`s questions about the future of the two mills Verso closed this summer, Nebel said the company had put efforts to sell its idled Wisconsin Rapids operation on hold but observed: "Duluth has got some people interested, and that is ongoing." ...
Ken Notes: Marty and I strongly support getting this reopened.
To control costs, Verso plans to soon deploy capital on "high-return projects" throughout its mills with a focus on energy reduction, chemical reduction and productivity improvement....Full Story
Ken Notes: This article is behind a paywall, but we have covered this previously. It would be nice if we could communicate to their stockholders that Wisconsin would love to take one of the idled mills off their hands...
MIAMISBURG, Ohio – Verso Corp. reported a $31 million loss during the third quarter as the company idled paper mills in Wisconsin Rapids and Duluth, Minnesota.
Revenue for the quarter fell by more than half to $306 million compared to the same period in 2019, the company announced Monday.
Of that amount, about $70 million, or 11%, was due to the indefinite idling of its Wisconsin Rapids and Duluth mills in July; $36 million, or 6%, was due to the June 2019 sale of its mill in Luke, Maryland; and $145 million, or 24%, was was the result of selling its mills in Jay, Maine, and Stevens Point in February, according to Verso`s quarterly financial report....Full Story
Ken Notes: We question this loss while they remain reluctant to sell or restart the Wisconsin Rapids facility. I believe there is far more to this story than is being reported. I hope the State and community can keep the property valuation high so they can collect property tax revenue to help defray the cost of maintaining the infrastructure and other expenses created by the mill closing...
WISCONSIN RAPIDS - After months of exploring possibilities, Verso Corp. announced Wednesday it would slow down its effort to find a buyer for the Wisconsin Rapids mill.
David Sams, Verso`s vice president of environmental health, safety and sustainability, told members of the Wisconsin Rapids Together Task Force Wednesday morning that, the economic environment and the continued COVID-19 pandemic have made it difficult to find a buyer.
Sams said it has become apparent that a sale in the near future will be “impossible.”...
Ken Notes: This is wrong, we need the jobs and we need the pulp. We need to pressure Verso any way we can to expedite the sale or reopening of this facility...
Marty Notes: We need to explore all possible ideas and solutions by bringing them to the table.
As the Verso mill in Wisconsin Rapids stands indefinitely idled and the community waits for news about its future, Verso’s president and CEO has stepped down.
Adam St. John resigned from his role as president, CEO and a member of the company’s board of directors effective Wednesday, the company announced Thursday morning.
Randy Nebel, a member of the board will serve as interim president and CEO and will continue his role on the board of directors. The board will start searching for a permanent president and CEO and will use a national executive search firm to help find qualified candidates...
WASHINGTON, D.C. -- U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin is urging the Verso Corporation to consider the impact of the sale of its Wisconsin Rapids mill on all the people in North Central Wisconsin, according to a news release.
Officials say the facility directly supports more than 900 workers in the region, as well as thousands of workers and many small businesses throughout Wisconsin.
The Verso pulp and paper mill has been idled since July 31 as Verso seeks a buyer, according to a news release. The mill has been producing paper since 1904. The news release states that Wisconsin has lost over 20 paper mills and one-third of its paper mill jobs in the last 20 years. Officials say a report by the University of Wisconsin estimates more than 1,600 indirect job losses and statewide-economic losses of more than $250 million annually if the Wisconsin Rapids mill were to close...
Marty Ochs: I started my career at Consolidated Paper, Inc. I understand the importance of the paper mill in Wisconsin Rapids. It is a tremendous opportunity for the mill especially with the world class converting capabilities. We need to think outside the box and come up with solutions for this facility!
Ken Notes: Nice to see this is on the radar screen, and 5PNews.com can help. Lets try and make sure this is a bipartisan non political issue. We all need this mill up and running...
BAYFIELD, Wisconsin — When a major U.S. paper producer decided over the summer to shut two of its plants, citing the drop in demand for paper amid the coronavirus pandemic, it sent reverberations through a region that is highly reliant on its timber industry.
The sudden move by Verso Corp. affected thousands of jobs in Minnesota and its neighbor Wisconsin, where it also cut off revenue that was keeping many of the state`s counties afloat.
"Twenty-five percent of the pulpwood Wisconsin produced went to that one mill alone," said Henry Schienebeck, executive director of the Great Lakes Timber Professionals Association...
Demand for most types of paper has plummeted, hurting jobs and public funds in Wisconsin, the country’s largest producer
BAYFIELD, Wisconsin, Sept 23 (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - When a major U.S. paper producer decided over the summer to shut two of its plants, citing the drop in demand for paper amid the coronavirus pandemic, it sent reverberations through a region that is highly reliant on its timber industry....Full Story
The sudden move by Verso Corporation affected thousands of jobs in Minnesota and its neighbor Wisconsin, where it also cut off revenue that was keeping many of the state`s counties afloat.
"Twenty-five percent of the pulpwood Wisconsin produced went to that one mill alone," said Henry Schienebeck, executive director of the Great Lakes Timber Professionals Association (GLTPA).
"We`ve seen some mill closures for the last 10 to 15 years, but we`ve never had one that took this much wood."...
Ken Notes: Like I said, we need to jump start this industry.
WISCONSIN RAPIDS – Throughout its history, the paper mill along the rapids of the Wisconsin River was more than just a factory.
It has, of course, been first and foremost an economic engine and a job creator, and in that role, it became the foundation for a city once known as Grand Rapids on the east and Centralia on the west.
But the story of what`s now known as the Verso mill is also one of perseverance, innovation, creativity and community connections that go well beyond its walls or the millions of tons of paper produced in the mill`s 126 years....
Ken Notes: You Must Read This One! We can and must get this mill reopened. As you can see above it can be done. We want to thank the Wisconsin Rapids Tribune for their wonderful reporting on this mill for 126 years...
ELCHO - The Verso Paper Mill in Wisconsin Rapids shut down production at the end of July. That decision affected thousands of workers in Wisconsin Rapids but it`s also hurting people here in the Northwoods.
"The mills are filled up," said Dennis Schoeneck, owner of Enterprise Forest Products. "They don`t need our wood. So we have nowhere to go with this wood. Its really affected our livelihood tremendously."
Schoeneck has been working in the logging industry for 44 years, but this is unprecedented.
"I`ve never seen something like this because the biggest mill in the state has quit taking wood," said Schoeneck. "That`s an impact that you just don`t recover from overnight you just don`t."
And his logging company isn`t the only business affected by the closure....
This is the first in a series examining the impact of the shutdown of Verso’s paper mill in Wisconsin Rapids.
"My stomach dropped,” is how one employee reacted to the news. "It`s like a natural disaster," said another. Still others expressed disbelief, thinking, “We’re always going to need paper.”
The emotions were not surprising. The Wisconsin Rapids area, after all, was built on paper and cranberries and here was one of its largest and most storied mills, whose roots go back to 1894, announcing it would be closing. Employees at Verso Corp. over the years had endured ownership changes and uncertainties as competition and consolidation gripped the industry.
They`ve lived through other temporary shutdowns, but this, they fear, could be the final closure.
Ken Notes: Great story and writing, I hope we can come up with a plan to reopen this mill --- these people are one of the best reasons why!
As Verso seeks potential buyers for its Wisconsin Rapids mill, groups are looking at the possibility of creating a cooperative to run it locally. ...Full Story
Ken Notes: I would love to share more or read this article, alas it is behind a paywall at the Wisconsin Rapids Daily Tribune. If you have online data on this send it our way and we will share it...
WISCONSIN RAPIDS, WI (WSAU) –Operations are slowly winding down at the Verso paper mill in Wisconsin Rapids after its parent company announced the idling of the facility effective on July 31st.
Rapids Mayor Shane Blaser says a few hundred employees remain on the payroll as the company fills some last-minute orders and commitments while also idling down and doing some maintenance on the equipment. He couldn’t provide an exact number but said as of Thursday there were still “a few hundred” employees on the job.
Around 125 employees will remain on-site to do maintenance and keep the facility in shape in case a new operator or buyer can be found. Those employees will also have to maintain some infrastructure that’s used to provide services to other plants in the area including the Nine Dragons plant in Biron.
Blaser says the city and Timber professionals are still examining ways to do just that, possibly through a Co-op.
“[I’ve been talking about that] for about the last three days. They are forming Co-ops. The Timber professionals have already formed theirs, and we are also looking at forming a multi-state Co-op. That’s what’s being explored right now,” he said...
Ken Notes: We should all work together to support this effort...
Verso employees will leave the Wisconsin Rapids mill in phases as the bargain between unions and Verso takes effect.
The first layoffs of the mill`s 902 employees came Monday and will continue in phases through the end of the year.
According to representatives from the United Steelworkers union, which represents about 600 employees at the Wisconsin Rapids mill, Verso will continue to pay the company portion of employees` medical and dental insurance plans through the end of the year. Severance packages will depend on how many weeks of vacation each employee has earned based on the number of years he or she worked at the mill, but that amount ranges from one to seven weeks. Verso will also continue the employee assistance program for six months. The program that offers mental health resources for employees.......Full Story
Ken Notes: We need to focus on ways to keep this plant in production...
WISCONSIN RAPIDS, Wis. (WSAW) - We`re learning more about the potential future of the Verso Paper Mill in Wisconsin Rapids and the effort to save hundreds of jobs.
The mill announced in early June it would halt production July 31st. The Wisconsin Rapids Together task force was created to support families affected and find a potential buyer. Representative Scott Krug (R-Nekoosa) and Sen. Patrick Testin (R-Stevens Point) lead the task force.
But with no action by potential buyers so far, an estimated 900 people will be out of work when the mill shuts down Friday.
But there is still hope those jobs won`t disappear for long.
Henry Schienebeck, executive director of Great Lakes Timber Professionals, tells Newschannel 7 his Rhinelander-based group is working on forming a co-op with the City of Wisconsin Rapids and union workers that would keep everyone in their current jobs....
Ken Notes: Lets make sure we give this project all the support we can. Your elected officials need to know how important this project is to Wisconsin and the dozens of other businesses that depend on it.
WISCONSIN RAPIDS – The papermaking industry has ties to other industries like forestry, trucking and construction, and Verso’s decision to indefinitely idle two of its mills affects those industries it works with.
Verso announced in June it would stop production at its paper mills in Wisconsin Rapids and Duluth, Minnesota, indefinitely while "exploring viable and sustainable alternatives for both mills."......Full Story
Marty Ochs: Remember to mention that segments of this industry are growing in Wisconsin and we are working hard to find ways of reusing the Verso Plant.
Ken Notes: In Madison we are looking for ways to absorb the Verso employees into other facilities across the State.
WISCONSIN RAPIDS – As the Verso Corp. paper mill quickly approaches a planned shutdown this month, local, state and industry leaders continue looking for ways to keep it up and running, including by finding someone to buy it.
State Rep. Scott Krug, R-Nekoosa, said because there are valuable assets inside the mill, he is optimistic the Miamisburg, Ohio-based papermaker will be able to sell it and that there are a couple potential buyers interested in the facility.
Verso announced in June
it would stop production at its paper mills in Wisconsin Rapids and
Duluth, Minnesota, indefinitely while "exploring viable and sustainable
alternatives for both mills." As a result, Verso said it would lay off 902 employees at the Wisconsin Rapids mill starting July 31.