According to a corporate release, Verso announced the closure of its paper mill located in Wickliffe, KY. The mill has been idle since November 2015 as a result of a continuing and accelerated decline in demand for the Company’s coated paper products and a significant influx of imports driven by the strength of the U.S. dollar relative to foreign currencies.
Verso president and C.E.O. David J. Paterson comments, “After an exhaustive, but ultimately unsuccessful effort to find a buyer of our Wickliffe Mill, Verso has made the difficult decision to close the facility. A handful of potential buyers expressed interest in purchasing and continuing to operate the mill, but either offered an unrealistically low purchase price or ultimately chose not to pursue the purchase. The decision to close the Wickliffe Mill is aligned with Verso’s long-held commitment to balance the supply of our products with our customers’ demand for them, and is not related to the company’s Chapter 11 proceedings.”
Employees were notified in accordance with the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act that their last day of employment with Verso is expected to be June 4, 2016. Shortly after the Wickliffe Mill was idled, Verso successfully qualified paper grades formerly manufactured there for production at other mills in the company’s highly flexible manufacturing system, so the mill closure will have virtually no impact on Verso’s customers. Verso will proceed immediately with all actions necessary to close the mill in a safe and environmentally responsible manner, with the shutdown expected to be complete by July 1, 2016. Final disposition of the mill is yet to be determined.
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