The sale of the Park Falls Flambeau River Papers mill to newly formed company Element Ventures could not be finalized and the assets of the mill will now be marketed as a liquidation sale.
In what amounted to a stopgap hearing Thursday afternoon, Rebecca DeMarb, the court-appointed receiver of the mill, requested a hearing for the week of Nov. 4 to approve the sale of the mill’s assets.
“My intention is to restart a sales process. It is possible — and we’re certainly not foreclosing the idea — that the sale would go to a company that intends to operate Flambeau River Papers. That would be, obviously, ideal. However, at this point I will also be marketing it as a liquidation,” DeMarb told the court.
DeMarb said there are enough employees to perform an orderly shutdown, and a budget will be developed to address the environmental concerns the Department of Natural Resources has filed with the court against abandonment. The budget will also account for employee expenses incurred during the shutdown period and be filed with the court by Oct. 8.
DeMarb said she was disappointed to be back in front of the court without a sale.
"We did everything we could think of to close on the sale of the Flambeau River Paper assets as an operating entity — most recently with securing an extension for the sale approval with Element Ventures. But the realities of where we find ourselves including the continued wet lap market and the fact that $41 million dollars in claims have been filed in this case, approximately $13 million of them secured claims, made it so we just could not get the deal closed as was approved by the court.”