Canadian paper maker Domtar Corp. has sold its pulp mill in this eastern Maine town to an investor group for $64 million, a transaction that will protect the jobs of the mill's 300 workers, the company said Friday.
The Montreal-based company sold the mill, hydroelectric facility and related assets to International Grand Investment Corp. so it could focus on softwood pulp manufacturing. The mill focuses on hardwood pulp, Domtar President John Williams said.
IGIC is a Delaware-registered company that represents international investors in pulp trade and imports, Domtar said. IGIC is part of a Chinese-based holding company.
Maine Gov. John Baldacci welcomed the new owners to Maine, saying, "I'm optimistic that we can develop the same open lines of communication and cooperation that existed between my administration and Domtar."
The mill, which will be known as Woodland Pulp LLC, began operations in 1905, and with its $15 million annual payroll "has been the hub of economic activity in that region of Maine," Baldacci said.
The mill was shut down for seven weeks in 2009 because of weak global demand for pulp, high inventory levels and depressed prices. Workers who were laid off were later recalled as the market rebounded, and tax and currency-exchange conditions improved.
The mill, which had been owned by Domtar since 2001, is Washington County's largest employer.