MIAMISBURG, Ohio (AP) — Paper producer NewPage Corp. said Wednesday that it is seeking Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection while it restructures.

The privately held Ohio-based company said it expects to continue operating its U.S. business as usual and has commitments for $600 million in financing led by J.P. Morgan Chase. A statement from NewPage's Miamisburg headquarters says it expects to emerge as a financially stronger company.

"We strongly believe that the court-supervised restructuring we began today is the most effective means of strengthening our financial position and enhancing our standing as the leading producer of printing and specialty paper in North America," George F. Martin, president and CEO, said in a statement.

The company has some 350 southwest Ohio employees and 6,923 nationwide. The company makes coated paper used in magazines and catalogues and also uncoated and specialty paper.

It has been hurt by rising raw materials costs and lower demand. At the end of last year, NewPage reported more than $3 billion in debts, and a net loss of $656 million for 2010 with $3.6 billion in net sales for the year.

The company said it has filed in federal bankruptcy court in Delaware.

Its web site lists paper mills or other operations in Biron, Stevens Point and Wisconsin Rapids, Wis.; Escanaba, Mich.; Duluth, Minn.; Rumford, Maine; Luke, Md.; Wickliffe, Ky., and Port Hawkesbury in Nova Scotia, Canada. The company says it hopes to sell the Port Hawkesbury mill.