Pulp mill bidders yet to be revealed
ALMOST seven weeks after bids closed, receivers have yet to identify a preferred bidder for the Bell Bay pulp mill site and the State and Commonwealth government permits for the former Gunns pulp mill.
KordaMentha has at least one bid for 550ha of land at Bell Bay and also has at least one bid from a separate party for a package of the land and the pulp mill permits.
Finals bids were lodged with advisers Moelis and company on May 30.
KordaMentha spokesman Michael Smith said it was agnostic about whether a pulp mill went ahead but was charged with finding the best outcome for secured creditors — whether it be land alone or land and permits.
It is understood there were no Australian bids for the pulp mill permits which cost Gunns about $220 million to obtain.
“Once a preferred bidder is identified it will not take long for a contract of sale to be finalised,” Mr Smith said.
Much of the feedstock for a pulp mill is controlled by timberland investment company New Forests, which has previously expressed a desire to remain focused on exporting woodchips to markets China, Japan and India.
New Forests has a subsidiary called Forico which has spent $10 million on a woodchip mill near Hampshire and directly and indirectly employs about 150 people.