The Heart of Wisconsin Chamber of Commerce on Oct. 21 in a written statement said that Verso Corporation’s Board of Directors released new information on the selling of the Wisconsin Rapids Mill. Verso closed the Wisconsin Rapids mill in July 2020, ceasing production of paper at the location and putting the mill up for sale.
A legislative task force (the Wisconsin Rapids Together Task Force, www.rapidstogether.com) met today by conference call and was informed that Verso has to suspend the active search for a buyer.
Verso has employed a consultant, Moelis and Company, to market and sell the mill. They are suspending the active search for a buyer for the mill due to the difficult market and COVID-19. Those in attendance at the Taskforce to meeting asked questions on an ideal economy for activating the search. These benchmarks would be beneficial for further understand Verso’s needs for marketing. This information is not currently available.
Prior to the announcement from the Board of Directors [on Oct. 21], a Wisconsin-based effort has been launched by the Great Lakes Timber Producers Association of Rhinelander to form a cooperative which would buy and operate the mill. This effort would reestablish the mill as a local employer and would provide an outlet for the sale of Wisconsin softwood for use as paper. The group has reached out to Verso. The Verso mill formerly purchased around one-quarter of the softwood cut for paper pulp annually in Wisconsin and was an important source of work for loggers and truckers in the timber industry as well as for the employees of the mill itself.
The Heart of Wisconsin will communicate more information when available.