APPLETON, Wisc. (From news reports) -- A judge ruled on Monday that Appleton Coated paper mill will stay open and operate for 45 days as a potential buyer is sought.
Last week, a buyer's bid was accepted to purchase the mill and more than 600 workers were laid off.
The buyer is Industrial Assets Corporation and they have not been clear about what they would do with the mill or its equipment.
Appleton Coated says there's still existing orders and work to be done at the mill. This would bring back about a third of the workforce for 2-3 weeks, while the future owner is decided due to court process.
After Monday's ruling, nearly 200 workers will be brought back and Industrial Assets will seek out a buyer for at least the $20 million it's agreed to pay.
"We came here looking for two things-- time and financing. Time to be able to find a long-term strategic buyer, who would purchase Appleton Coated, and run it as a mill and in the meantime be able to find financing to keep it running," said Tom Nelson, Outagamie County Executive.
The county executive says there is a buyer, but has not disclosed the name of the company.
Appleton Coated claims to be losing $2 million a month and in August entered into receivership.
The union is calling the ruling a huge victory.
"My reaction is that we came out of this with a huge win today. Going into this, we were looking at a company buying us as that was literally they liquidate assets. We now have a door open to have a buyable company coming through and get this as an on site business," said Tony Swanningson, Union President.
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