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The Fraser Mill finds a buyer

December 22, 2010
GORHAM The Fraser Paper Mill, which has been in a state of flux for several months, with two potential buyers falling through due to lack of funds and other reasons, has finally found a buyer, Counsel R.B. Capital, who closed the sale on Dec.16 for and is now looking for an operating partner.

The mill, if an operator is found, is slated to be opened some time in the spring of 2011 if everything goes as planned. Counsel R.B. Vice President Gregory Schain

was in Gorham on Friday, meeting with Mike Gorman and Bobby Mannepalli, both of whom said they were investment bankers from SSG Capital Advisors, although on the company's website, Gorman is listed as a vice president. SSG is the company that Counsel R.B. hired to market the mill to potential operators and it is based out of Philadelphia.

Mr. Schain said that he and the men from SSG had met with many town and business leaders from the area, which he described as "a truly great community" and he added that everyone really cares about the mill.

It has also been speculated that the purchase is a good acquisition because costs of paper production are going down and there are fewer plants left making paper products. That would be good news for potential suppliers, since there is less supply, so their product is more likely to be in demand and will therefore sell, making the paper business a potentially profitable one to enter.

There has been no short list given as of yet of potential mill operators, although Jeff Pollock, managing director of Merchant Banc, said that his company met with representatives from Counsel R.B. Capital and SSG Capital Advisors on Dec.16.

Pollock said "The meeting was productive, but it was exploratory and there was nothing definitive established. We still maintain great appreciation for the mill and would welcome a dialog about becoming involved again if the new owner is so inclined."

J. Scott Victor, the managing director of SSG, said that he could not say much other than his company had been hired by Counsel R.B. to find an operator.

Mr. Victor said "I am not at liberty to tell you who we have met with and will meet with in the months ahead to try to find that operator. Though it is a difficult assignment, we'll do our best to try to find that operator, which will help the town of Gorham, the employees and their families."

Martin Lord Osman
Varney Smith
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