Carthage Plant's Operators Optimistic Plant Will Remain Open

Carthage Plant's Operators Optimistic Plant Will Remain Open

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Carthage Specialty Paperboard Caption Carthage Specialty Paperboard Caption

Carthage Specialty Paperboard (CSP) officials say they remain optimistic the plant will remain open. That's even though they sent a letter to employees cautioning them the plant could close in mid to late July.

There are four possible buyers for the West Carthage plant, Don Schnackel, vice-president of finance, told 7 News this week. Schnackel said a preferred "stalking horse" bidder could be named in the next couple of weeks. (What's a 'stalking horse'? Keep reading.)

The current management team is still in the running to buy the plant, Schnackel said.

 CSP entered bankruptcy at the end of February. 80 people are employed by the plant.

In a June 8 letter, Schnackel wrote employees "...if the Company is unable to secure additional capital (which it is currently pursuing), the facility will close and all employees will be terminated. Absent a change in current circumstances, it is presently expected that your employment will be terminated during the 14 day period of July 18 through July 31, 2018."

Schnackel said the letter - which is legally required; it's called a "warn notice" - was issued because an earlier warn notice, issued right after the company filed for bankruptcy, was expiring and the company's lawyers advised them to issue a new notice with an updated schedule for closing.

That said, Schnackel noted, "We're very optimistic that the plant will remain open."

He said the evaluation of potential buyers "has moved forward." A stalking horse bidder - the next step - basically determines what the minimum value of the plant is. It's a big step toward an eventual sale.

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