Appvion announces agreement to sell

A view of Appvion's plant in Appleton, Nov. 9, 2017. (WLUK/Alex Ronallo)

APPLETON (WLUK) -- A paper mill in Appleton says it has an agreement to sell to a group of lenders.

Appvion announced the agreement in a news release. The deal is valued at $325 million.

"After evaluating options to address our capital structure and conducting extensive negotiations with our lenders, we determined that a sale would be the best path forward for Appvion," CEO Kevin Gilligan said in a news release. "We expect that the sale process will be seamless for our stakeholders and will not disrupt our operations. This process will bring a timely and efficient conclusion to our restructuring and ensure that our company emerges as a healthier, financially-stable business poised to compete long term in the specialty paper market and further invest in the innovation that has made Appvion a market leader."

"We believe that launching the sale process with a going-concern offer from the Purchaser -- a long-term lender to and supporter of our business -- is the best option for Appvion," the statement continued. "The transaction would maximize the value of our assets and create the optimal long-term outcome for our employees, customers, and vendors. Importantly, this transaction would result in a substantially deleveraged balance sheet for Appvion, upon which to continue executing our business strategy. We are confident that Appvion would be an even stronger partner to all of our stakeholders in the years to come as a result of this transaction."

Appvion filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection last October. A month later, the company announced it would cut around 200 jobs as it moved production of carbonless copy paper to a mill in Pennsylvania.

The agreement to sell the mill is scheduled to go before a judge on March 1. Appvion has requested authorization to hold an auction on April 23.

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