Arjo liquidators close largest French site

Arjowiggins staff at the firm's largest mill in France are set to lose their jobs after a last-ditch attempt to save the Bessé-sur-Braye mill are understood to have fallen through.

Reports in French media indicate that a project to recover the Bessé-sur-Braye paper mill by former Arjo director Jean-Christophe Mailhan have failed due to a lack of private financing.

Put into liquidation on 29 March, the recycled paper plant will close with the loss of almost 600 jobs.

Employees of the plant spoke to yesterday (21 May), with one saying he felt “manipulated by factory management” into hoping a solution could be found while another said staff “feel betrayed”.

Last week, PrintWeek reported that Arjowiggins’ parent company Sequana will be liquidated over a two-year period following a decision by the Commercial Court of Nanterre.

Concerning Arjo’s further French mills, the Château-Thierry site, known as Greenfield, was bought by German paper group Wepa and its Le Bourray operation was part-purchased by local family-run business CGMP.

Meanwhile Antalis, of which Sequana is still a major shareholder with a 75% share, is continuing to work with advisors Goldman Sachs to set up a new shareholding structure that aims to remove the collapsed paper group as the majority shareholder.

Formerly owned by Sequana, Antalis underwent an IPO in 2017 making it an independent company with its own stock market listing.

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