Judge approves sale of Appleton Coated to liquidation company & wife of worker worries about future

Posted: 6:32 PM, Oct 05, 2017
Updated: 2017-10-06 12:45:57-04

An Outagamie County judge approved the sale of Appleton Coated to Industrial Assets.

The paper mill was in receivership and the judge approved the sale to the liquidation company on Thursday.

The wife of a worker worries about their future.

"He'd never thought he'd have to apply for a job again in his life," said Maria Hance.

Hance said her husband has worked for Appleton Coated almost 20 years. 

He's near retirement and has to care for her, because of health concerns.  

When the company was sold, Hance said she wasn't sure what would happen next, because there was a chance they could work longer.

"Initially they sent us papers from an attorney, which unless you have a law degree you don't know what they're saying, so we didn't quite understand what was going on," she said.  "They told us they would be running until October 16th."

Hundreds of employees waited to see if they could return to work after being laid off.  There's now a 90-day deadline for a company to buy the mill and keep it open.

"There are some kernels of good news there, but this isn't what we were hoping for exactly but we do have a second chance and that's important," said Outagamie County Executive Tom Nelson.

The judge previously requested a 45-day plan to keep Appleton Coated open for workers, but parties involved determined the plan would not be profitable and had it thrown out.

Appleton Coated workers still hope they can return to work, despite the company being sold to a liquidation company.

Meanwhile Hance's husband looks for work.

"He's been like waking up at five in the morning and checking his phone," she said.  "He's registered with the career builder and indeed for the new jobs and he's struggling.  He didn't even know how to get online and do all that stuff."