Wausau Paper to close Brainerd, Minn., mill - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Wausau Paper to close Brainerd, Minn., mill



MOSINEE (WAOW) - Wausau Paper announced Thursday that it would close its paper mill in Brainerd, Minn., one of three it put up for sale just weeks ago.

The decision will eliminate 130 jobs, the company said in a statement.

Wausau Paper, which also owns mills in Mosinee and Rhinelander with hundreds of workers, said the closure will occur early in the second quarter, which starts in April.

President Hank Newell attributed the closure to several factors, including the company's decision to leave the print paper business, protracted global economic weakness and more competition in Asia.

Those conditions "created operational losses from the mill that were unsustainable," Newell said.

The mill makes technical specialty papers.

In January, Wausau Paper said mills in Brainerd, Mosinee and Rhinelander were for sale, as the company planned to focus solely on making tissue and towel, which are produced at its mills in Kentucky and Ohio. The company currently is investing $220 million at its Harrodsburg, Ky., mill.

Last year, Wausau Paper closed its oldest mill in Brokaw, which made paper for printing and writing. The move eliminated 450 jobs.

On Tuesday, U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin, D-Wis., said the paper mills for sale were being discussed at the federal level.

Wausau Paper was founded in 1899 as the second paper mill built on the Wisconsin River, according to the company.

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