Smart Papers says two parties still interested in buying its paper mill in Hamilton, Ohio, but operation will shut down at end of March if buyer is not found; mill stopped making paper, laid off more workers last week

LOS ANGELES , February 27, 2012 () –

Smart Papers Holdings LLC is still aggressively looking to sell its paper mill in Hamilton, Ohio, but will shut down the operation at the end of March if a buyer is not found, said a company official, reported the Hamilton Journal-News on Feb. 24.

“But we still have two very interested buyers,” said Tim Needham, chairman of the Hamilton-based company, on Feb. 24.

Paper production was halted at the mill last week and 47 workers on the paper machine line were laid off, Needham said, adding that about 100 hourly and 20 salaried employees remain at the mill to cast, coat, sheet and warehouse paper through March, the Hamilton Journal-News reported.

Tim Bray, a United Steelworkers union representative for area paper mill workers, said he is “not optimistic at all” that the Smart Papers mill in Hamilton will remain open.

Smart Papers first announced last October that it would cease making paper in Hamilton, but city officials have yet to come to a purchase agreement with any party to keep any part of the mill open, reported the Hamilton Journal-News.

Smart Paper’s Hamilton mill is the third of three paper mills expected to close in the area. The other two are Franklin Boxboard and Mohawk Fine Papers. Together, the three mills employed more than 400 people.

Layoffs at the mill began in December, based on notices of the job cuts the company sent to the Ohio Office of Workforce Development.

The mill, which was once owned by Champion Papers and employed 2,500 workers, was the first to produce magazine-grade paper coated on two sides, the Hamilton Journal-News reported.

The primary source of this article is the Hamilton Journal-News, Hamilton, Ohio, on Feb. 24, 2012.


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