The wind of crisis

Papierfabrik Scheufelen starts its bankruptcy procedures


At the end of last January, the German company based in Baden Württemberg Papierfabrik Scheufelen, which is specialised in the production of coated paper, waste paper and SBS (solid bleached sulphate) boards, has applied for the opening of insolvency procedures. In May 2016 Scheufelen was acquired by a group of private owners after registering high losses in previous years. Since the acquisition, the situation has improved considerably after several measures of restructuring and strategic reorientation towards the packaging sector. Losses and negative cash flows have been reduced substantially. Furthermore, in 2016 the company launched an SBS board with the brand Phoenolux for premium and luxury packaging applications, thereby obtaining successful market shares in the demanding and rapidly growing packaging sector. Finally, with the recent introduction on the market of Grasspaper, i.e. a range of packaging papers containing sun-dried grass with printing and folding properties similar to those of high-segment SBS boards, Scheufelen laid the foundations for a sustainable future. The development and launch on the market of Grasspaper has been accompanied by the opening of Packaging Campus Lenningen in collaboration with the Hochschule für Medien in Stuttgart.

Yet, in spite of these new developments, the pulp and chemicals price increases in 2017 made it impossible to completely reverse the trend. The high-margin packaging lines of phoenolux and grasspaper, together with the stable market share and the strong market positioning in the sector of coated paper, notably no. 42, were not able to sufficiently make up for the cost situation. Last year Scheufelen registered sales for 83 million Euros for a total production of 104 thousand tons of paper. Given the close and constant collaboration with its long-standing partner, i.e. the IGEPA group, as regards the sales of 42 white coated premium paper and the phoenolux SBS board, and considering the strong interest of the market and investors for green paper, which will reduce the company’s dependence on markets and paper pulp prices, the company management is confident that the future of Scheufelen can be secured.

Production and sales continue; furthermore, wages are guaranteed until March 2018 by the German employment agency. The Packaging Campus Lenningen operations are not affected by the procedure.