BANGOR, Maine — The company that owns the East Millinocket paper mill owes $65 million to its creditors but has just $28.15 million in assets, according to filings in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Delaware, Maryland.
The money owed to companies and individuals that have secured claims either through liens or court judgments totals $42.34 million, including $20 million owed to Stonehenge Community Development of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and $20 million to Enhanced Capital New Market Development Fund of New Orleans, Louisiana, which hold mortgages on the mill.
Unsecured creditors are owed $22.6 million.
GNP Maine Holdings LLC owns the East Millinocket papermaking operation that has been shuttered since Feb. 6, when a majority of the 212 workers were laid off. About 20 hourly and salaried employees have remained employed to maintain the property.
The company owes laid-off workers nearly $140,000 in wages, salaries and commissions, according to a detailed list of assets and creditors filed late Thursday.
GNP filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy Sept. 22, less than a week after three creditors — Hartt Transportation Systems of Bangor, Lynch Logistics and Lynco Inc. — filed a petition in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Bangor that, if granted, would have forced the mill owner into bankruptcy.
Chapter 7 of the federal bankruptcy code allows the company to liquidate its assets to pay creditors. Corporations seeking to reorganize typically file under Chapter 11, though filings can be converted.
GNP Holdings owns the business and equipment but not the real estate, which is owned by other corporate entities.
More than 20 creditors located in Maine, including the towns of Millinocket and East Millinocket and the attorney general, have asked that the case be moved to bankruptcy court in Maine because 56 percent of the 1,159 creditors are located within the state. Attorneys for GNP have objected to having the case moved, in part, because a new trustee would have to be appointed to administer the case.
A hearing on the motion to move the case is scheduled for 12:30 p.m., Friday in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Wilmington, Delaware.
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