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Potential buyer of paper mill drops out

Published 9:39am Wednesday, October 16, 2013

BRAINERD — A potential buyer for a Wausau Paper mill in north-central Minnesota has withdrawn, citing environmental concerns.

Liberty Diversified International’s chairman and CEO informed the city of Brainerd Tuesday the company was no longer interested in possibly buying the plant.

Brainerd City Council member Gary Scheeler said he was shocked by LDI’s decision. Scheeler said the company had consistently shown interest in possibly buying the plant.

The Wausau plant stopped paper production in April. City and economic development officials had been seeking a new owner since then.

In his correspondence with the city, Mike Fiterman, chairman and CEO of LDI, cited the challenges of making the mill productive and profitable as well as the environmental risks.

The mill’s closure cost about 130 workers their jobs.