Lincoln Paper files for bankruptcy | News

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Lincoln Paper files for bankruptcy

LINCOLN, Maine (NEWS CENTER) - The CEO of Lincoln Paper and Tissue announced the company has filed for bankruptcy.

Keith Van Scotter said the company has filed bankruptcy protection under Chapter 11 in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Maine and is looking to sell the mill within the next 60 days.

"Because we've been marketing the business for a while and looking for new investment we think this can and will go quickly," Van Scotter said, adding that LPT has negotiated financing with a debtor that will allow them to continue business during the process.

"Obviously I think people are concerned but I think the message is people are going to continue to get paid. We're going to continue to operate and we're going to make every effort to make sure this goes forward as a going concern," he said.

The company also sent a Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notice to all company employees gives employees 60 days notice of possible plant closing or mass layoffs. There are currently about 170 employees working at the mill. United Steel Workers staff representative Duane Lugdon calls the situation, "distressing."

Lugdon added "It is reflective of a dilemma in our nation caused by a number of (industry) dynamics.

A number of elected officials issued statements Monday afternoon, including Governor LePage. He blamed the legislature for failing to take action to reduce Maine's high energy costs. The statement reads in part:

"Until the Legislature addresses the high cost of energy in Maine, which is a major burden on our manufacturing industry, mills like Lincoln Paper and Tissue, Verso Paper and Old Town Fuel and Fiber will be forced to shut down. Every decision I make as Governor is geared toward making Maine more competitive. Unfortunately, too many legislators can't say the same."

Van Scotter says management will exercise every effort to assure the best possible outcome and are hopeful that a buyer will take the business to the next level.

An auction will be taking place in the next 45 days.