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Three bidders for Ponderay Newsprint mill await decision on buyer

USK, Wash. (From news reports) -- Despite hoping to name a winner, the auction between three bidders seeking to purchase the Ponderay Newsprint mill in Usk extended past the business day Friday.

On Thursday, bankruptcy trustee John Munding said three qualified bidders had submitted proposals to purchase the mill, which closed in June after the previous owners filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. At the time, it employed about 150 workers.

Reached late Friday, Munding said that the auction was continuing, but the process was "very positive." He declined further comment.

Whoever submits the winning proposal would be subject to later approval from U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Frederick Corbit.

Up until the auction process this week, negotiations failed to find a new owner for the 927-acre property, which consists of 29 buildings and storage facilities and is adjacent to the Pend Oreille Valley Railroad and Pend Oreille River. What was once one of the largest employers in Pend Oreille County was listed for sale in December for $11.5 million.

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