New ad: Mike McFadden’s company made millions on deal that laid off workers
ST. PAUL [10/24/14] — The Franken campaign’s new ad, released today, details how investment banker Mike McFadden’s company made millions brokering a deal that shut down a Montana mill and cost hundreds of workers their jobs.
In 2009, McFadden’s company advised the restructuring of Smurfit Stone Container Corp. During the restructuring, Smurfit-Stone shuttered a Montana mill, laying off all 417 workers. McFadden’s company walked away with a $9 million fee from the deal.
The 60-second statewide ad, titled “Wasteland,” features four longtime mill workers recalling the devastation left behind in the wake of the deal that Mike McFadden’s company helped broker: “I drive by there now and then, and it’s like a wasteland,”says Jack Grover, one of the workers.
McFadden’s firm was hired to help Smurfit-Stone negotiate with its creditors as they went through bankruptcy in 2009 and 2010. During that process, the company, looking to become a “much leaner organization” shuttered the mill in Montana, along with one in Ontonagon, Michigan. These mill closures were linked directly to Lazard’s work, as the company’s creditors explicitly approved the plan. Lazard Middle Market boasted about the restructuring on its website until today when it was taken down after the ad started airing. You can see a version of the website that lists the Smurfit-Stone restructuring among the firm’s transactions here.
“Mike McFadden says he’s created jobs, but, you look behind me, how many people you see workin’ out here?” said Rich Varner, one of the workers in front of the closed, empty mill.
Documentation of the ad can be found here.
AL FRANKEN: I’m Al Franken, and I approved this message.
RICH VARNER: I worked at the mill for 32 years.
JACK GROVER: I was there for 37 years.
RON MARCUM: I was 22 when I started working at the mill, and stayed there ‘til they shut down.
DAN LEE: When they just abruptly said the mill’s goin’ down in 90 days. So sorry. It was devastating.
RICH VARNER: 400 employees had lost their job. Who’s gonna hire a guy two years from retirement?
RON MARCUM: We were makin’ money when they shut us down. And Mike McFadden was the CEO of the company that helped put us out of work.
DAN LEE: Mike McFadden’s company made millions, and they don’t care who they hurt in the process.
RON MARCUM: I don’t know why anybody that’s a workin’ man would wanna go out and support this man.
JACK GROVER: I drive by there now and then, and it’s like a wasteland.
RICH VARNER: Mike McFadden says he’s created jobs, but, you look behind me, how many people you see workin’ out here?