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Maine-based corporation plans to buy Turners Falls former paper plant for $4 million

  • No details on the sale of the former Southworth paper mill on Canal Road in Turners Falls are available. Recorder Staff/Paul Franz

  • No details on the sale of the former Southworth paper mill on Canal Road in Turners Falls are available. Recorder Staff/Paul Franz

  • No details on the sale of the former Southworth paper mill on Canal Road in Turners Falls are available. Recorder Staff/Paul Franz



Recorder Staff
Thursday, January 11, 2018

TURNERS FALLS — Bankrupt Southworth Paper Co.’s former mill on the power canal has been approved for a $4 million sale to Maine-based corporation, SBD Greentech.

If the U.S. Bankruptcy Court-approved sale goes through, SBD Greentech will acquire not only the Turners Falls mill, but also the mill equipment, remaining stock, and its Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) license to create hydropower from the power canal.

Southworth also had a facility in Agawam that sold for $1.88 million to investors from Adams in early January of this year.

SBD Greentech is owned by HS Manufacturing Group, whose company goal is “to provide green, renewable sources of packaging solutions that would reduce man’s carbon footprint,” according to its website.

No more details will be made available until the deal is officially closed, according to Simran Malhotra, marketing director for HS Manufacturing Group. It isn’t clear yet what SBD Greentech plans to do with the building and equipment after acquiring it.

Malhotra estimated that more details will be available following a hearing in Bankruptcy Court scheduled for Feb. 15.

Southworth abruptly shut down at the end of August, saying it could no longer receive financing. The company had 120 employees throughout Turners Falls, Agawam, and Seattle, Wash. About 60 employees worked at the Turners Falls location and were all laid off immediately after the decision to close. Southworth bought the mill in Turners Falls in 2006 as part of its acquisition of the Esleeck Paper Co. Esleeck had opened its mill in 1900.

Federal Bankruptcy Court gave Southworth permission to pay employees who were owed for their last paycheck, benefits, sick time and vacation time. According to court documents, those payments are currently being processed.

According to Southworth’s attorney, Joseph B. Collins, the company must pay off any debts owed to municipalities for new owners to take the title. It will pay the town of Montague $275,000.

Southworth also owes Agawam $128,000 in unpaid taxes, water and sewer charges, and other municipal claims. Once this is paid, Southworth must also pay $50,000 in legal fees before it can pay other creditors with money from sales.

Reach Christie Wisniewski at:
cwisniewski@recorder.com
or 413-772-0261, ext. 280