UNDATED (WSAU-Wheeler) - Union employees at three Wisconsin paper mills have ratified a new contract which paves the way for a private equity firm to buy those plants and keep them running.
K-P-S Capital Partners of New York had agreed earlier this year to buy the Mosinee and Rhinelander plants owned by Wausau Paper – plus the Kaukauna and De Pere mills from Thilmany Papers. The deal was contingent on new union contracts.
Today, the United Steelworkers said its members approved a four-year deal which includes higher wages, better health benefits, and what the union called “retirement security.” De Pere is a non-union plant, so it was not involved in the contract decision. The new firm will become the state’s largest paper-maker with a total of 18-hundred employees in Wisconsin.
All four mills make specialty papers for things like food wrappers. K-P-S is still looking for a name for its new acquisitions.