The former Verso Corp. paper mill in Wickliffe, Kentucky will soon have a new owner.
After company executives jotted their signatures on a purchase agreement, Governor Matt Bevin announced today that Chinese-owned paper products manufacturer, Global Win Wickliffe LLC, is reopening the shuttered paper mill.
The reopened plant was sold for approximately $16 million and the sale should be finalized close to the beginning of the third quarter this year.
Global Win Wickliffe says it will invest $150 million in the plant and create 500 full-time jobs.
According to Gov. Bevin, the paper mill in Ballard County will be the Chinese company's first U.S. facility and the mill will be the eighth Chinese owned facility in Kentucky.
"This is the day the lord has made…let us rejoice and be glad in it," says Gov. Bevin. "We certainly have much to rejoice and be glad about on a day like today."
"Global Win is excited to join the people of Kentucky and Ballard County in restarting the Wickliffe mill," said Tom Lawson, director of strategy for Global Win. "This is as much of an investment in people as in new equipment and technology. We look forward to a long successful future for all the stakeholders of Global Win Wickliffe."
The Verso Corporation mill closed two years. Leon Newton, a former Mill employee, is currently still unemployed. However, he says he is ecstatic and hopeful for the new ownership.
"Paper manufacturing is strong today," said Lawson.
One of Global Win Executives says they need to get the building back in working order and hopes to begin operation early next year. He says, "We have an aggressive plan to staff the mill and very soon we are going to start executing."
Global Win reportedly employs 8,200 people, including about 6,00 at the GE Appliance Park in Louisville and 1,600 at Lexmark International in Lexington.