February 21, 2020
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Verso contemplating bankruptcy, sale of Jay mill

Amber Waterman | Lewiston Sun Journal
Amber Waterman | Lewiston Sun Journal
Piles of logs await the chipper in the wood yard of the Verso mill in Jay, Maine, in 2006.

PORTLAND, Maine — Verso Paper Corp, which owns a mill in Jay, said it’s spent about $55 million to restructure its business in the past three months as it considers bankruptcy or selling its Maine mill.

The company said in an earnings statement Monday that based on financials as of Sept. 30, “we believe that there is substantial doubt about our ability to continue as a going concern for the next 12 months.”

That position has caused the company to look at restructuring options, either out of court or through a Chapter 11 bankruptcy proceeding.

The company’s Jay mill employs about 865 people, 300 of whom it plans to lay off in the next year.

The admission follows the company’s delisting from the New York Stock Exchange in the wake of its purchase of larger competitor NewPage for $1.4 billion.

The company said that it has started discussions with creditors over its restructuring options and is separately considering how it might raise money by selling off certain assets, like its Androscoggin Mill in Jay.

“We also are exploring opportunities to raise funds through potential sales of certain of our mills and related facilities, which may include the Stevens Point, Androscoggin and Duluth mills, our recently idled Wickliffe mill, and the hydroelectric generation facilities associated with our Androscoggin mill,” the company said.

Legislators and leaders of Maine’s forest products, pulp and paper industry are scheduled to gather Tuesday for a day-long conference at the Hilton Garden Inn in Bangor, where Verso’s status will likely be discussed.

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