Arjo UK ops courted by three bidders

By Rhys Handley, Wednesday 13 March 2019

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Three businesses are now in contention to buy the Creative Papers aspect of Arjowiggins’ UK operations, which is currently in administration.

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Arjo UK staff are set to receive their salaries as normal this week

In an update seen by PrintWeek, Arjowiggins’ Chartham mill manager Mark Hobday told staff that administrators FRP Advisory had now received three offers for the business – two for Creative Papers as a whole and one for the Chartham base alone.

None of the companies were named in the statement, though it was confirmed by Hobday that all three companies making offers were “in a financial position to do so”.

He wrote: “This is positive news along with the fact that the interested companies will want to buy the business as a going concern.

“The companies involved have stated that they are in a position to complete a swift due diligence process and it is anticipated that FRP will assist in shaping the offers made to meet legal and financial requirements.”

Norwegian pulp and paper businessman Terje Haglund, a shareholder in Swedish wood and paper group Lessebo, which is making a takeover bid for Arjo’s French paper mills, had previously been reported to be leading a bid for the Chartham and Stoneywood bases.

The Chartham mill in Kent employs 90 staff while 489 people work at the Stoneywood mill in Aberdeenshire.

It was also confirmed in Hobday’s letter that Arjo UK employees will receive their salaries as normal on Friday (15 March) while a decision is still forthcoming, and he thanked staff for their continued efforts.

Unite the Union national officer Louisa Bull told PrintWeek: “We are still hopeful that a buyer will be confirmed in the next few days.”

The situation regarding the administration of Arjo’s French mills remains unchanged following the Commercial Court of Nanterre postponing its decision regarding the offers for the three sites last week.

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