Several buyers express interest in shuttered NewPage Port Hawkesbury newsprint, SC paper mill in Nova Scotia; formal offers from qualified buyers due Oct. 14, with buyer expected to be chosen Nov. 9

LOS ANGELES , September 29, 2011 () – Possible buyers of the idled NewPage Port Hawkesbury Ltd. newsprint and supercalendered paper mill in Nova Scotia have come forward with multiple non-binding letters of intent by the Sept. 28 deadline, raising hopes for restarting the 1,000-employee operation, said a spokesperson for court-appointed monitor Ernst & Young, The Chronicle Herald reported Sept. 29.

The London-based monitor will work with New-York based Sanabe & Associates LLC to evaluate the potential buyers, said spokesperson Julie Fournier. After the review, qualified buyers will be allowed to submit formal offers and deposits by Oct. 14.

According to Gordon Cassie, of VanTek Inc., a business that finds possible buyers for closed mills, said that two or three companies “may have proceeded,” adding that one company he knows is “interested and capable” of running the site.

The Point Tupper, Nova Scotia, mill filed for creditor protection earlier in September when it shut down the mill, The Chronicle Herald reported.

Miamisburg, Ohio-based NewPage cited monthly losses of C$4 million, a strong Canadian dollar, declining demand and high electricity costs.

A buyer who chooses to restart the mill would most likely close the newsprint machine permanently, continuing to produce coated paper on the supercalendered machine, according to observers, reported The Chronicle Herald.

A series of tight deadlines in the sales process includes narrowing the bidders list to one or two by Oct. 18, concluding negotiations by Nov. 4 and selecting the buyer by Nov. 9. Court approval is expected to be granted Nov. 22 and the deal to close two days later, which could result in reopening the idled mill around Christmas, The Chronicle Herald reported.

The primary source of this article is The Chronicle Herald, Halifax, Nova Scotia, on Sept. 29, 2011.

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