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MRP buyers still interested

NATCHEZ — It’s possible a buyer for the recently closed Mississippi River Pulp factory could come through by the end of the year.

Natchez Inc. Executive Director Chandler Russ said the economic development body has continued to work with MRP and two separate clients to broker a sale of the pulp fiber recycling facility since its Oct. 31 close.

Even before the closure, the company was looking for a buyer of its Natchez mill, which produced recycled paper products.

Currently, the parties interested in buying the facility are a company that is already in the recycling business and produces products similar to what MRP made and a company that has not heretofore been involved in production of those products but is interested in getting started with it.

“We have continued to work a dual track with two of our clients, and they are both actively engaged and pursuing the facility,” Russ said.

“We hope we will know something (about the possible sale) toward the end of the month or the middle of December; at that time, we should have some clarity on either of those clients.”

The Natchez Inc. director said he was very optimistic about either of the two clients currently looking at the facility.

MRP — which was formerly Mississippi River Corporation before it was bought in 2010 — announced it was closing the Natchez plant in late October after months of trying to find a buyer.

Company officials cited what they considered to be demand issues and the lack of an acceptable buyer’s proposal as reasons for closure. The search for a buyer would remain ongoing, they said.

The closure affected 79 employees.

MRC opened in 1991 on the location of the former Diamond International plant, which had produced fiber-based products such as egg cartons.

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