Arjowiggins Stowford Mill closure jeopardises 100 jobs

By Pamela Mardle, Monday 24 September 2012

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Arjowiggins is to close its Stowford Mill in Devon in the first quarter of 2014.


The paper manufacturer is consulting with Stowford Mill's 103 workers, some of whom will be offered a transfer to Stoneywood Mill near Aberdeen, over 600 miles from the south Devon paper plant.

A spokesman for the mill, which produces security and creative papers, said that job search assistance would be provided to help staff gain new employment.

Parent company Sequana also announced that by the end of 2012 it would shut Arjowiggins' Dalum graphic paper mill in Odense, Denmark and the Argentinian Witcel plant, which produces creative papers.

A total of around 430 of Arjowiggins' 5,200 employees will be affected by the closures.

The combined closures will reduce Arjowiggins paper output by 126,000 tonnes, the equivalent of 10% of the paper manufacturer’s overall production.

Sequana said in a statement: "Given the structural decline and overcapacity in the market, and following the shutting down of a machine at the Chartham plant in the UK in August 2012, Arjowiggins has decided to continue to adjust its capacity in line with demand."

The global paper group is to book a restructuring cost of €25m in the third quarter of 2012 although it expects to create a full-year net cost saving of €17m from the closures, the bulk of which it anticipates will be generated from the beginning of 2013.

Sequana’s distribution business, Antalis, has also finalised its acquisitions of packaging companies Branopac in the Czech Republic and Abitek in Chile. Both businesses were bought for a combined cost of €17m, which Sequana expects will contribute an additional €15m in full-year sales.

Antalis McNaughton also bought Ambassador Packaging in Winsford, Cheshire for £9m and German company Pack 2000 at the beginning of the year.

The acquisitions expand Antalis McNaughton’s geographical market capture in emerging economies within the packaging industry, which Sequana claims is growing by 5% annually.


In an earlier version of this story, we reported that the Stowford Mill was part of ArjoWiggins Graphic, whereas the mill actually reported to the parent company ArjoWiggins. Apologies for any confusion caused.


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