Frustrated shareholders ask board to consider selling Verso paper mill in Jay

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According to a Securities and Exchange Commission filing, investors are advocating selling the Androscoggin Mill in Jay. 

JAY — Shareholders frustrated with returns from the Androscoggin Mill are considering selling the operation.

The Morning Sentinel reports investors are considering selling the Androscoggin Mill in Jay. According to a Securities and Exchange Commission filing, shareholders with Verso Corp. are frustrated with the company’s financial performance and are evaluating all options to protect their investments.

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Androscoggin Mill had previously laid off about 120 workers during the summer when it shut down a paper machine.

Hilco Valuation Services paper analyst Jesse Marzouk says he wouldn’t be surprised if the mill is sold given the current paper industry climate in Maine.

Paper operations across the state have suffered in recent years. Since 2011, over 2,300 paper workers have lost their jobs.

In the SEC filing, shareholders with companies that all have ties to investor Jason Mudrick report being “deeply frustrated with the board’s inaction to address the issuer’s rapidly deteriorating financial position” and want to “enact a strategic plan that will return value to stockholders, including a potential sale of the Stevens Point (Wisconsin) and Androscoggin mills.”

A Verso spokesman was not available for comment.

Town Manager Shiloh LaFreniere said Wednesday that it seems rumors of a sale circulate in town after each new SEC filing or report.

“The information in the SEC filing yesterday wasn’t something we like to read about, however, it didn’t come as a surprise,” LaFreniere said. “I know that the paper industry is struggling and we’re hopeful that Verso’s commitment to exploring all of their options to succeed has not wavered.​ The SEC filing seemed to highlight the frustration of some investors, but it didn’t offer any new reason to increase or decrease the concern that we presently maintain.”

The Sun Journal contributed to this report.

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