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Business and Economy
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Verso Agrees To Sell Jay Mill As Part Of $400 Million Deal

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Courtesy of Verso Corp.
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Verso said it will sell its Androscoggin Mill in Jay.

Verso Corp. is selling the Androscoggin Mill in Jay, along with another mill in Wisconsin, for $400 million.

The new owner will be the Pennsylvania-based company Pixelle Specialty Solutions.

In an email, Verso says the approximately 500 employees at the Androscoggin Mill “as well as certain other of Verso’s commercial and manufacturing support employees” will transfer to Pixelle when the sale is completed early next year.

Jay Town Manager Shiloh LaFreniere says she’s not expecting any downsizing or closures.

In a statement, logger advocacy group Professional Logging Contractors of Maine says it applauds Verso for “finding a buyer that appears committed to the future of the mill, and Pixelle Specialty Solutions for the confidence their decision to buy the mill shows in the strength of Maine’s workforce, especially the harvesting and trucking suppliers.”

Verso has also made investments in the mill over the last several months, and in a statement Pixelle says when the deal closes, it will make the company the largest specialty paper business in the U.S. in terms of annual production.

LaFreniere says found out about the sale Tuesday morning, and it doesn’t come as a big surprise.

“When you have a big paper mill there’s always rumors going around, so we’d heard they’d looked at sale or other options,” she says.

Verso has had financial problems over the last several years. It went through bankruptcy in 2016, and reported a drop in net sales in the third quarter of 2018.

LaFreniere says the mill provides about half the tax base for Jay.

The deal is expected to be completed early next year pending stockholder and other approvals.