$9M Offer Made To Buy Carthage Specialty Paperboard

$9M Offer Made To Buy Carthage Specialty Paperboard

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"It feels fantastic, we're very excited," said Ben Rankin, a partner in Long Falls Paperboard.

The company just made a $9 million offer to buy Carthage Specialty Paperboard, the West Carthage paper mill that filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in February.

The deal is $1.4 million in cash, taking on $6 million of debt owed to Key Bank and another $1 million owed to other creditors.

There are, however, some hurtles left to clear before the mill is sold - something the buyers and the union are well aware of.

"I don't wanna say this is a done deal. There could be another offer out there. There's going to be a bidding procedure, most likely, and we never know what could happen," said Jack VanderBaan, United Steel Workers Union spokesperson. 

Whether or not another buyer comes in, Rankin says there is opportunity at the mill.

"An owner with the right attitude and approach, I am absolutely convinced, is going to be able to make this a success, if they do an appropriate investment and bring the mill into the 21st century," he said.

It may be odd to hear talk about opportunity in the paper industry, but local economic leaders say here there's a lot of it.

That's why the Jefferson County Industrial Development Agency put up $300,000 to back Long Falls Paperboard.

"We believe that there is really growth potential here, in spite of the fact that one would say, this is a paper industry company, therefor, not to be trusted, but the answer is there's some opportunities here. We think this is one of those," said Don Alexander, executive director of JCIDA. 

In a little less than 2 weeks, a judge will review the offer from Long Falls. If it's approved, the auction process can begin. 

One group watching this bankruptcy proceeding closely is the Lewis County Industrial Development Agency which wants to buy the former Climax Manufacturing facility in Lowville. 

It's tied up in court because Climax and CSP used to be owned by the same group. 

Eric Virkler with the IDA Says his group still wants to buy the building and have multiple tenants lease space. 

Climax abruptly closed in April 2016.

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