API Foils bought out of admin

Richard Stuart-Turner
Monday, March 2, 2020

API Group’s foils division has been bought out of administration by Australian company Aldus.

API's Livingston plant makes foils for packaging
API's Livingston plant makes foils for packaging

With operations throughout Australia, New Zealand, Malaysia and the US, Aldus has acquired the business of API Foils Europe, excluding its Dutch and Asian subsidiaries, from administrator Ernst & Young and has created a new company called API Foilmakers Ltd.

Edinburgh Live said 107 staff were made redundant at API’s Livingston site when the group entered administration on 31 January. It added more than 100 jobs will be created when the new company restarts production at the plant, which makes foils for packaging.

Aldus chief executive Frank Floriano said: “API has long been viewed as a market leader in high-quality foils and we were very pleased to acquire the business.

"We are committed to provide additional capital and support to ensure that API will continue to supply its existing customers and invest in the development of market-leading products.”

Commercial director Mark Gilbert added: “We are delighted to be back in business and I would like to thank our customers for supporting all of our teams across our sites over the last few weeks and also those that helped us during the acquisition process.

"This support has just confirmed to us that this is a special business.

“We are looking to get back to normal production in Livingston as soon as possible, but it will take some time until we can offer a full range of products from manufacture.

“We will communicate every step with our customers in all markets and work with them to mitigate any further disruption than is necessary.”

The new company will be led by API’s former managing director Will Oldham.

“I am delighted to be back leading API’s European foil business, which has been at the forefront of quality graphic stamping foils for many years,” he said.

“Joining the Aldus Group will give our team the financial strength and support to ensure that we can continue to deliver the highest quality product to our customers across Europe and the world.

"We are particularly pleased to be restarting the Scottish manufacturing facility and ensuring the continuing operation of our distribution hubs across Europe, delivering 160 jobs, including more than 100 in Scotland.”

Unite deputy Scottish secretary Mary Alexander said the union was “grateful for the hard work that all interested parties have put into working towards a positive outcome for API Foils”.

“The announcement that a subsidiary of the company has acquired the business and its assets is fantastic news for the workforce,” she added.

“It is Unite’s hope that the factory can scale up its operations quickly and take on those workers who were made redundant by the previous announcement. We look forward to playing our part in making this factory a continued success and aim to meet the new management as soon as possible.”

Unite said it understands that the reduced workforce currently at Livingston have now been transferred to the purchaser under TUPE regulations.

155 staff in total were made redundant when API Group went into administration. While the acquisition also includes API's Sheffield site, Ernst & Young said it is continuing to seek a buyer for API's Poynton operation. The fate of the group's Manchester site, meanwhile, was unclear at the time of writing.

The US sister company of API Group, Kansas-based API Americas, filed for Chapter 11 protection two days after the UK operations were placed into administration.

In its Q4 results, published on Friday (28 February), API parent Steel Partners said the purpose of these proceedings “is to facilitate an orderly sale or wind-down of API's operations”.

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