RUMFORD — A Canadian paper company has bought Rumford Paper Co. and a second NewPage mill in Biron, Wis., for $62.4 million in cash.

Rumford mill spokesman Tony Lyons said the sale went through at about 11:30 a.m. Wednesday.

“As of right now, the Rumford and Biron paper mills are officially part of the Catalyst Paper family,” Lyons said. “To put it simply, the employees here are really excited and really optimistic.”

Catalyst Paper Holdings, based in British Columbia, originally announced the transaction this past October, after saying it wished to buy the two mills for $74 million.

According to its news release Wednesday, the price was lowered “based on estimated working capital at closing,” and the “final purchase price is subject to additional post-closing adjustments.”

The sale of the Rumford mill was held up while NewPage’s merger with Verso Paper Corp. underwent a federal antitrust review.

Verso Paper announced Dec. 31 that it had reached a settlement with the U.S. Department of Justice, allowing it to move forward with its acquisition of NewPage Holdings for $1.4 billion.

According to a fact sheet on Catalyst’s website, the company is Western North America’s largest producer of mechanical printing papers, and it owns three other paper mills in the coastal communities of Crofton, Point Alberni and Powell River in British Columbia.

Lyons said Rumford Paper Co. will be known as Catalyst Paper Mill, Rumford Division.

“The new signs are already up at the lower gates and at the main entrances,” Lyons said. “We just had an unveiling today. Joe Nemeth, the president and CEO of Catalyst, and other members of his executive team spent the day meeting with members of the production floor and other employees. There were at least 500 employees there to meet him.”

He added, “There was definitely an air of optimism that hasn’t been here in a long time. We’re going to move forward and make the very best products that we can.”

In a Wednesday afternoon news release, Nemeth said, “This acquisition represents a new chapter in the history of Catalyst Paper. With the addition of the Rumford and Biron mills, Catalyst becomes a larger and stronger company with five facilities across North America and an estimated production capacity of 2.1 million tons of paper and 500,000 tons of pulp.”

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