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Walker "cautiously optimistic" on Wausau Paper sale


RHINELANDER, WI (WXPR) -  Governor Scott Walker says he's "cautiously optimistic" about the prospects about the paper operations in Rhinelander and Mosinee.

Highlighting a manufacturing theme while stopping in Rhinelander Thursday morning at HyPro Incorporated, Walker said latest discussions with Wausau Paper officials left him with a positive impression.  "That's the phrase I'd use, cautiously optimistic.  Trust but verify."

Walker says his talks with officials left him with the impression the company wants to keep both facilities open.  "They pointed out that they had a long list of potential buyers, but they didn't want to just sell to anyone.  They wanted partners who are ultimately going to help keep people working both in Rhinelander and in Mosinee."Walker says the approach has been collaborative to work with Wausau Paper and the new company prepared to take over operations at both facilities.  "We're going to continue to follow up, not only with Wausau Paper leadership, but with their new partners as well as reaching out to others, in the union leadership and otherwise just to make sure we have a full game plan and that we're doing everything in our power to make sure the jobs stay and ultimately would like to grow here." 

Wausau Paper announced last week the potential sale of both plants to a New York based private equity firm KPS Capital Partners.