New owners are providing some hope that the former Appvion Paper Mill in Roaring Spring, Pennsylvania, US, may have new life.
A newly formed company, Roaring Spring Park, LLC, has just closed on the facility and has been actively involved in identifying and supporting potential uses for the plant and the site, including restarting the paper mill and/or repurposing the assets. Investors in Roaring Spring Park LLC include owners of four different companies with a history of success in repositioning and redeveloping idle assets from major corporations in a variety of industries. Roaring Spring Park investors include Big Shoulders Capital, Capital Recovery Group, LLC, Rabin Worldwide and Calbag Metals Company.
"We see the potential for this paper mill and are actively working to bring in new owners with the expertise needed to resurrect the closed facility," said David Muslin, chairman of Big Shoulders Capital in Northbrook, Illinois.
According to William Firestone, president of Capital Recovery Group (CRG), "Appvion invested millions of dollars in upgrades to equipment over the years and we see a significant opportunity, based on current market conditions, to add value to this facility."
Big Shoulders, CRG, Rabin Worldwide and Calbag all have a history of repositioning idle assets, which has included investing their own funds, to identify and support successful new ownership in other facilities such as aluminum products manufacturing, pulp mills, pharmaceuticals, and chemical industries and, in the process, they have saved or created thousands of jobs.
"As markets and competition continue to change constantly, we have developed an expertise in identifying and reconfiguring legacy businesses in a way that creates new value," said Firestone. "We are optimistic that we can do the same for Roaring Spring Park."
The process of finding the right mix of investors and owners could take several months. "We are purchasing this facility because we believe it has long-term potential," added Muslin.
When Appvion closed the plant in March it left 300 workers without jobs. The paper mill, founded in 1866, has been one of the largest employers and an anchor in the community, attracting ancillary businesses to Roaring Spring.