Bids in for Tullis Russell brands

Jo Francis
Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Speculation is mounting over the future for Tullis Russell’s valuable brands, as it emerged that the failed papermaker was owed more than £1m by Paperlinx when the merchant went into administration.

KPMG, the administrator of Tullis Russell Papermakers, is in the process of auctioning off the firm’s brands and stock through a sealed bids process.

The sealed bids auction closed at noon yesterday (8 June).

“We’re all on tenterhooks waiting to see what will happen,” said one interested party.

A number of UK and overseas paper merchants and manufacturers are understood to have expressed interest in the Tullis Russell sale items. Arjo Wiggins, GF Smith, James Cropper and Mohawk are among those tipped as possible purchasers.

The Tullis Russell brands include Advocate, Trucard, Naturalis and Mellotex.

It is expected to take “quite a few months” to work through the stock, said joint administrator Blair Nimmo.

"The remaining staff are helping us sell off the remaining paper stock and plant machinery. We’re working with agencies to decide the best process of how that should be sold through the existing customer base. It does take quite a few months."

Intellectual property is also for sale, with interested parties requested to contact the administrators at KPMG.

Separately, the Deloitte administrators’ reports for the various Paperlinx UK businesses have revealed that the merchant owed Tullis Russell more than £1.2m.

The historic Fife papermaker was put into administration at the end of April, with 346 of its 474 staff subsequently laid off after no buyer emerged for the mill. The employee-owned firm lost £3.4m on sales of £124.6m in its most recent financial year.

Chris Parr, chief executive of Tullis Russell Group – a £158.6m-turnover company before the administration, said trading conditions had been tough for Tullis Russell Papermakers but that the company's position finally became untenable when Paperlinx went into administration on April 1 and Tullis Russell directors were faced with no choice but to follow suit.

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