Governor LePage Announces Jobs to Return to Katahdin Region

September 16, 2011

For Immediate Release: Friday, September 16, 2011
Contact: Adrienne Bennett (207) 287-2531

Cate Street Capital to begin mill preparations Monday

Augusta, Maine – Governor Paul LePage and Cate Street Capital officials announced Friday evening the sale of the Katahdin region mill properties which could put 200-250 people back to work by mid-October in the Millinocket area.

Officials from the State of Maine, Cate Street Capital and Brookfield Asset Management, the Toronto-based corporation that owns the two Katahdin region paper mills met in Portland Friday morning to finalize the sale which closed in escrow effectively turning over the Millinocket and East Millinocket mills immediately to Cate Street Capital. The closing in escrow means that Cate Street Capital will take over the mills at considerable financial risk, while it awaits the transfer of environmental permits from the previous owner which, by statute, cannot occur until September 27. A final closing is expected before the end of September.

Governor LePage praised Department of Economic and Community Development Commissioner George Gervais, Senior Forest Advisor Rosaire Pelletier, and State Planning Office Director Darryl Brown for their involvement. He also noted local officials and the commitment of Cate Street Capital for their support behind efforts to save the mill jobs.

This spring, Brookfield Asset Management announced they were closing the Millinocket paper mill. Governor LePage worked with his administration to find a buyer for the mills.

On the completion of the deal, the Governor stated, “There was a lot of hard work that went into making this happen and I commend everyone for their unwavering commitment. Job creation has been a top priority for my administration. This effort demonstrates not only will papermaking be revitalized in the Katahdin region, but that new opportunities for growth are being developed which will provide long-term stability for Mainers.”

Cate Steet Capital, a national leader in developing green technology and renewable energy companies, is headquartered in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. The company focuses on finding and supporting green technologies and environmentally sustainable projects for a better world.

Richard Cyr, Cate Street Capital Sr. Vice President, said, “We are grateful to the State, the communities of East Millinocket and Millinocket, and the mill employees who have all put a lot of hard work and faith into the mills’ rebirth. We still have a great deal of work ahead of us to meet our orders by October 30, but we are very confident in the team of experienced papermakers we are bringing back. We look forward to rolling up our sleeves, re-starting papermaking, and exploring potential opportunities to introduce exciting new technologies to the region moving forward.”

The name of the mills new operating company will be Great Northern Paper, which Cyr says is a respectful nod to the original Great Northern Paper which owned and built up the mills for decades during the 1900s. Cyr, who will serve as Great Northern Paper’s CEO, says the company will enter into a transitional period at the East Millinocket mill next week in preparation to restart the facility to fill virgin newsprint orders due for shipping by the end of October. The Millinocket mill’s restart will be dictated by market demand.