MILLINOCKET — Maine Gov. Paul LePage says he’s encouraged by a tentative agreement by an investment group to buy the Katahdin Paper Co. mills in East Millinocket and Millinocket.

LePage said today that he hopes the Millinocket Mill can be restarted under the ownership of Meriturn Partners LLC, and that both mills can be profitable.

Lee Hansen from Meriturn Partners tells the Bangor Daily News that the group will visit the mills Wednesday. Meriturn specializes in turning around troubled businesses.

At their peak, the two mills employed more than 1,000 people. Now only the East Millinocket mill is in operation with about 450 workers. The Millinocket mill closed in 2008 because of the high cost of heating oil. Officials say the new owners want to install biomass boilers.