HARTLAND, Maine — The bankrupt Prime Tanning plant that employs 180 people could have a new owner by the end of the week, officials said Wednesday.
Tasman Industries Inc. of Louisville, Ky., has placed a $6.5 million bid for the leather tanning operation, the largest employer in Hartland. Prime Tanning President Paul Larochelle said the sale could close by week’s end, but some details still need to be worked out.
“Our intention is to produce fine leather and put a name back on the map as a thriving operation,” said Norman Tasman, president of Tasman Industries.
In November, Prime Tanning became Maine’s third tannery to file for protection in the past decade. Under Chapter 11 bankruptcy, the company reorganized and sought to reinvent itself after shuttering its Berwick plant and selling another plant in Missouri. The company cited liabilities of $10 million.
Tasman, which emerged as a suitor during bankruptcy proceedings, processes 140,000 cattle hides per week at 12 processing facilities across the country and around the world. “So, we’re the biggest processor of cattle hides in the world,” director Aaron Tasman told the Portland Press Herald.
According to the Tasman Industries’ website, the company has hide-processing facilities in Des Moines, Iowa; Omaha, Neb.; Louisville, Ky.; Amarillo and Fort Worth, Texas; as well as in Mexico, China and Taiwan.