Scheufelen targets Trucard market with new product and Tullis Russell hire

Sarah Cosgrove
Friday, August 14, 2015

German paper mill Scheufelen is moving into the packaging market after slashing graphic paper production and jobs and employing Tullis Russell Papermakers’ former UK sales manager.

The company is expanding its bright white Phoenolux range to appeal to packaging customers and aiming its sights firmly at Tullis Russell’s former top brand Trucard.

The bright white silk card was released at the end of April but the company now has a two side-coated product that it is discussing with potential buyers. An uncoated board is in development.

International sales manager Horst Lamparter said: “It’s very comparable to Trucard. There’s a big market segment that’s free. We’ve just started the first discussions and showed the first samples in the market.”

Terry Yates, former UK sales manager for Tullis Russell Papermakers before it went into administration at the end of April, joined the company in July. He will continue to live and work in the UK, and serve his extensive network of buyers.

Lamparter said Yates would work on Phoenolux sales alone. It is the first SBS board Scheufelen has produced after 160 years making graphic papers.

The move follows a restructuring at the company at the tail end of last year in response to over-supply of graphic papers. It slashed graphic paper production by more than half, from 280,000 tonnes to 130,000 tonnes as it mothballed one of its two papers machines, cutting 320 jobs in the process. 

"People are moving more into the packaging market because it’s growing and the graphic market is going down,” Lamparter said. “The more we can move into the packaging market the better."

“The machine that we're still running is very much designed for heavier weights. We have made some adjustments on the machine and we are very competitive on quality and price.”

All the Phoenolux cards and boards are available in 180, 220, 250, 275, 300, 330 and 350gsm. The new SBS boards which are coming to market now are also available in 400gsm.

Lamparter said Scheufelen had considered buying the intellectual property rights to Trucard from Tullis Russell administrators KPMG.

“We thought about it and had some discussions about it but finally decided to go with our own brand name. We felt we couldn’t go with the brand of Tullis Russell,” he said.

“What we are looking at is to buy some machine parts. We’re waiting to hear more details about that.”

Scheufelen is not the first paper company to move into market space vacated by Tullis Russell. Last month Arjowiggins Graphic launched its own “superb white” premium board and packaging range aimed at Trucard devotees, employing Tullis Russell Papermakers’ former sales director, Malcolm Sinclair, who was on the team which devleoped the Trucard brand. Also in July, Premier Paper Group bought the Tullis Russell paper brand Advocate from KPMG. GF Smith was an early mover, buying the IP of Tullis Russell's Naturalis brand in June.

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