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Global Win Wickliffe Reopens Ballard County, Kentucky Paper Mill

Global Win Wickliffe, a Chinese-owned paper products manufacturer, will reopen the former Verso Corp. mill with a $150 million investment in Ballard County, Kentucky. The company is expected to create 500 full-time jobs.

According to Governor Matt Bevin’s Office, “executives of Global Win Wickliffe signed a purchase agreement with representatives of Verso to buy the facility for approximately $16 million. The sale is expected to close around the beginning of the third quarter of this year.”

The new owners plan to refurbish the mill with new equipment and updated technology. Global Win Wickliffe executives anticipate reopening the mill by the end of 2018, with the facility producing pulp and brown paper packaging. The paper mill will be the buyer’s first US facility, state officials said.

“Global Win is excited to join the people of Kentucky and Ballard County in restarting the Wickliffe mill,” said Tom Lawson, director of strategy for Global Win. “This is as much of an investment in people as in new equipment and technology. We look forward to a long successful future for all the stakeholders of Global Win Wickliffe.”

Verso CEO B. Christopher DiSantis said the sale will benefit all parties, including the community, the West Kentucky region and state.

“Verso is very pleased to enter into this purchase agreement to sell our Wickliffe subsidiary and the associated assets, which will generate cash and eliminate our annual carrying costs of the mill,” DiSantis said. “The transaction is also a victory for the local community and state of Kentucky, which will benefit from future investment in the site.”

“Global Win Wickliffe will be a tremendous addition to West Kentucky, and the 500 jobs associated with the reopening of this paper mill will provide opportunities for years to come,” Governor Matt Bevin said. “Since the facility’s closure two years ago, our economic development team has worked tirelessly alongside Verso to find the right match for the region’s workforce, and we are confident we have found that in the buyer. We want to thank Global Win Wickliffe for locating its first US operation in Kentucky, and we wish the company much success in this exciting venture.”

To encourage the investment and job growth in the community, the Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority preliminarily approved the company for tax incentives up to $25 million through the Kentucky Business Investment program. The performance-based incentive allows a company to keep a portion of its investment over the agreement term through corporate income tax credits and wage assessments by meeting job and investment targets. In addition, Global Win can receive resources from the Kentucky Skills Network.

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