N.H. firm to buy shuttered Maine paper mills

Maine Gov. Paul LePage announced Tuesday that the state and Brookfield Asset Management have inked a deal with Portsmouth, N.H.-based Cate Street Capital to buy the Katahdin Paper Co. mills in Millinocket and East Millinocket.Cate Street, which develops green energy companies and sustainable projects, signed an agreement Tuesday to buy the two shuttered mills for an undisclosed price, according to a press release from the governor’s office. Cate Street Senior Vice President Richard Cyr said the company still must “resolve all outstanding issues over the next few weeks,” and that “numerous conditions … must be met before the deal can be closed.”State and Brookfield Asset Management officials have been searching for a buyer for the two mills for months, after the company in April broke off negotiations with a California investment group. Other buyers then expressed interest, including the owner of the former Domtar mill in Baileyville and a Millinocket-area businessman.The Millinocket mill has been closed since 2008, while the East Millinocket mill was shuttered in April and 450 workers were laid off.Cate Street has proposed a biomass plant in Berlin, N.H., that has stalled after a handful of biomass plants challenged New Hampshire regulators’ approval of a 20-year energy contract, but is now back on track. Earlier this year, Cate Street was part of an investment group looking to buy the Gorham Paper LLC mill in Gorham, N.H., but that deal fell through before Patriarch Partners bought the mill in May.In October, Cate Street Capital opened a 100-acre water reclamation center in Wyoming that treats water produced from oil and gas drilling companies. — MAINEBIZ

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