Paper production

The sale of Arjowiggins’ Graphic and Creative Papers business will not take place

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The parent company of Arjowiggins, Sequana, had sold the paper manufacturing business with a turnover of 528 million euros, equal to 19% of the total turnover of the group, to the Dutch company, Fineska, owner of the Eska group, with an agreement of 125 million euros. Negotiations for the sale started in July 2018, following a tender process, and it was expected that they would be concluded by the end of October of the same year. Sequana had described the move as «part of its strategy to assess the options and the necessary consolidation of the paper industry».

However, Fineska withdrew from the sale because «the market had greatly deteriorated, struck, in particular, by significant and successive price increases in wood pulp and, to a lesser extent, energy», as well as by a lack of visibility for the 2019 accounting period, said Sequana.

The French group, which in 2017 sold its Arjowiggins Security papers business, added «that Fineska probably also withdrew through the lack of visibility for the 2019 accounting period. Now, therefore, we must review the various strategic options to be implemented».

The business of Graphic and Creative Papers includes eight paper mills with more than 2 thousand employees in France, the United Kingdom, Spain and China, amongst which are the Stoneywood translucent paper mill in Scotland and the Chartham paper mill in Kent. If it had gone ahead, the agreement would have marked Sequana’s leaving paper manufacture on an industrial scale. In 2017, the French group sold Arjowiggins Security Papers business.