Winter Timber Sale

Wisconsin Rapids Paper Mill Sale Agreement

Read the latest about the sale of the WI mill being acquired by Capital Recovery Group

Photo of the paper mill in Wisconsin Rapids. Courtesy Jeff Hampton / Flickr

Billerud AB, which purchased the assets of Verso Corporation, announced that it would be selling the large Wisconsin Rapids paper mill to Capital Recovery Group. At the same time, Billerud will continue to operate the Wisconsin Rapids paper converting operation, which employs 130 people in the city.

Capital Recovery Group of Enfield, Connecticut, sells or converts “surplus or marginally productive assets”. Billerud said that the sale to CRG is expected to close in April and that it has authorized CRG to hold an auction of mill equipment and related assets.

The mill closed in July 2020 after a dramatic slowdown in paper demand following the beginning of the Covid pandemic earlier that year. (The Verso mill had purchased approximately 25% of pulpwood in Wisconsin.) Billerud maintained ownership of other mill operations in the Lake States after acquiring Verso’s assets, including mills in Quinnipiac and Escanaba, Michigan.

The Wisconsin Rapids equipment and property now owned by Billerud will be sold beginning with an auction of detached equipment in April. Glen Gilbert, who is coordinating the auction of different groups of assets, said that they are also interested in talking to potential acquirers of larger assets such as paper machines.

Also, part of the sale assets will include the site in Wisconsin Rapids, which is described as a “prime industrial location with water, natural gas, rail infrastructure plus wood resources”. A portion of the site needs to be held back for the paper-converting plant, which will continue to be operated by Billerud. ( “A paper converter takes one form of paper and fabricates it into another paper product,” according to Oren International, which manufactures converting equipment.)

“Billerud believes that this decision is the best alternative for all stakeholders,” said Tor Lundqvist, Billerud’s Deputy President and Senior Vice President of Operations for North America. “The sale of the idled Wisconsin Rapids Mill and related assets represents a strategic decision to focus on core business objectives, optimize resources, and align with our long-term strategy to drive sustainable growth. We look forward to finalizing the transaction in the near future and continuing to invest in the converting operation at the site.”

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