OLD TOWN, MAINE -- 9/29/15 -- Expera Specialty Solutions announced that it will shut down the mill in Old Town, seen on Tuesday, and will be closing the facility by the end of this year. Gabor Degre | BDN
KAUKAUNA, Wis. (AP) — A Finnish company has signed a definitive agreement to purchase four paper mills in Wisconsin for $615 million.

Expera Specialty Solutions has been sold to Ahlstom-Munksjo, a publicly traded paper company based in Helsinki, Finland. The transaction, which was announced Monday, is expected to be completed later in the year.

Operations at Expera’s Kaukauna mill and its three sister mills in Wisconsin are expected to continue normally under the new owner, said Expera spokeswoman Addie Teeters. She said employment will also be unchanged.

“We view this as good news,” she said.

Expera Chief Executive Officer Russ Wanke said Ahlstom-Munksjo will provide additional capital and resources.

“As we transition to joining Ahlstrom-Munksjo, we remain committed to our core strategic imperatives related to our people and our customers,” Wanke said.

Outagamie County Executive Tom Nelson called the move a positive development for the company.

“Ahlstom-Munksjo has a well-respected worldwide and industry-wide reputation,” he said. “They are considered an industry strategic buyer, and that should mean long-term investment translating into good-paying family-supporting jobs for generations right here in the Fox Valley.”

Ahlstom-Munksjo has annual net sales equal to about $2.6 billion and employs 6,000 people, according to its website. Its products include decor paper, filter media, release liners, abrasive backings, nonwovens, glass fiber materials, food packaging and medical fiber materials and solutions for diagnostics.

Expera makes specialty paper products for uses that include industrial, technical and food packaging. The company currently employs about 1,800 people. Its Kaukauna mill has been operating for 135 years.

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