Thursday, January 15, 2009

Samoa Acquistion Corporation trumps Ace Mills. Water to be left running. Kaitlin Sopoci-Belknap new Chair of Water Board!

By unanimous vote, Kailin Sopoci-Belknap was voted in as Chair of the Water Board. She was in "hot water" right away with some difficult issues to face. (New meeting time proposal, Zebra Mussel issue, and of course, the Evergreen Water contract.) After Samoa Acquisition Group leader Bob Simpson got up and spoke about his general plan of finishing the purchasing process by Feb. 6th, the public spoke and the Water Board stood by their guns (Water guns?) and kept their lien in place on Evergreen, but will let the water services continue while Mr. Simpson does his best to close the deal. It sounded like all stake-holders will be in contact in the interim, and a special meeting would be called to order if any emergency contingency plans were brought to light.

Overall it was an upbeat meeting and it was the most hope the workers have witnessed in months.

The board was challenged by Evergreen Employee Brian Conners early on over their non-scheduled meeting that took place the day after the special meeting of Dec. 30th. Past Chair Bruce Rupp took full responsibility for the decision to put a lien on Evergreen on the 31st of Dec. and said he was doing that in "the best interest of the district." District Counsel David Martinek convinced Mr. Rupp that this was legal. It may have been legal, but it was not good public policy in my opinion. The District could have held another special meeting on Jan. 2nd. But since it is not hindering the sale, I guess this was "no harm, no foul." The Water District seems to have a strong board that works better together than most local boards, so I will leave it at that.


Anonymous said...

I found it very interesting that proceeduraly, one board memeber can impose a lien, without public or board members input. But it takes 72 hours notice, a special board meeting, a vote and twenty minutes to remove it.

Anonymous said...

If Evergreen Pulp couldn't make money in this bad economy, how does Samoa Acq Corp (SAC) expect to make money? Will SAC sell their pulp in the domestic or foreign market? This sounds too good to be true. There has got to be more to this than what is being said. Will SAC purchase the mill and then wait to start when the market improves--next year?

Anonymous said...

Have they addressed the givebacks that they will inevitably want from the union in terms of pay cuts, benefit reductions and reduction in workforce size? Will there even be a union at Evergreen? Also, what about the pending discharge permit issues? Have they been addressed yet?

Anonymous said...

I am pretty sure that this group is going to throw a few million at this and due no diligence please think about what is happening and support it.

Fred said...

"Will there even be a union at Evergreen?".

Seems to me that should be the last concern at this stage in the game.

"what about the pending discharge permit issues?".

That would seem to be a very valid concern.

pooper said...

Maybe Sac has another plan for the pulp mill complex?Museum or hotel for all the tourism? If they can do it to 747 airplane why not a pulp mill?????

Not A Native said...

Almost seems like commenters here don't want the mill to suceed.

I know nothing about the global market for wood pulp, or what it might take for the mill to be economically successful.

But if the mill is run in compliance with local laws and regulations, I'd like to see it continue to be here and thrive.

The alternative of having a derelict and deteriorating plant that might also be an environmental hazard is the worst possibility.

jmc said...

Well it seems that there are a lot of things for us all to think about. We are all in the same boat, so to speak.
I think that we should all take a deep breath, take a walk in the sunshine, and wait to see whats next.

Anonymous said...

What happened to Ace Mills? What caused this company to pull out of the sale?

samoasoftball said...

Lots of questions. I am not sure I can answer all of them.

7:06pm-The SAC group knows the risk and rewards. It might be a gamble, but the pulp market will take off again, hopefully in early spring. Sounds like they will be searching the domestic market first.

7:44pm-Bob Simpson is going to meet with our union in the near future and has been in contact with our union leadership. Way too early to speculate on what SAC workforce will look like. The discharge issue will be tackled soon.

4:41pm-The plant will have no choice but to be compliant. Regulators are ready to pounce on any issues.

9:40pm-Ace Mills dropped out once they realized there were liens that were not going away? They were still trying to acquire financing and had announced to the Humboldt water district that they were paying $340,000 for water services on Jan 8th. Then they sent notice on Jan 12th that they were paying that week. On Jan. 13th Ace Mills said that David Tsang had cancelled their escrow. What happened behind closed doors is beyond me.

Anonymous said...

The published terms of the Bulk Sale of Assets classified is highly suspicious. SAC will purchase certain real and tangible assets and only those contracts, accounts receivable, or liens they wish to purchase.

So they get all the plant machinary and none of the liabilities, which means they are not buying the business, only the physical assets.

That boiler and turbine would make a great biofuels plant anywhere they might want to move it (like they have been doing with old shutterred pulp mills in the northeast), and I am sure Lee and Man will make good on what they owe the local vendors and not go back to China with the proceeds of the sale.