Feldmuehle Uetersen sale confirmed

Independent German paper mill Feldmuehle Uetersen has confirmed that it has been acquired, with more than 95% of jobs saved.

Following reports last month that the business, which filed for insolvency in January, had been acquired by a holding company, the buyer’s identity has now been unveiled as a subsidiary of Berlin-based private equity company Beteiligungsgesellschaft Kairos Industries.

The deal was completed on Friday (15 June) via an acquisition vehicle named Feldmuehle GmbH, which was founded specially by Kairos for the transfer.

400 of 420 jobs have been saved according to insolvency administrator Tjark Thies of Reimer Rechtsanwa¨lte, who said the conditions of the deal were met this week.

“The successful completion of this refurbishment is largely thanks to the dedication, flexibility and responsiveness of the Feldmuehle employees," said Thies.

“At the end of May 2018, the Feldmuehle Works Council approved a 10% salary waiver for employees until 31 December 2019, thereby creating an essential prerequisite for the financing of the acquisition.”

He added the cooperation of restructuring consultancy Ruppert Fux Landmann, commercial law firm Görg Partnerschaft von Rechtsanwa¨lte and Ernst & Young also “contributed significantly” to the successful takeover.

Kairos Industries said the acquisition “is aimed at a long-term entrepreneurial commitment; and the strategic successful realignment of [Feldmuehle], which began at the end of 2017, will be continued”.

Producing around 250,000 tonnes of paper a year at its mill, just west of Hamburg, Feldmuehle Uetersen has a history stretching back to 1904.

It became an independent mill again in 2015, after Stora Enso completed the sale of the business to German private equity fund Perusa Partners.

Specialising in the production of high-quality graphic, label and packaging papers for the German and international markets, the company runs two paper machines.