UK staff at Arjowiggins Graphic laid off

By Jo Francis, Thursday 04 April 2019

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The failure of the biggest Arjowiggins mill in France has resulted in knock-on job losses in the UK.

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Arjowiggins: jobs lost at UK sales wing for French business unit

At the end of last week it was announced that the Bessé-sur-Braye mill was going into liquidation, with the loss of 580 jobs.

Bessé-sur-Braye was part of the Arjowiggins Graphic Papers business unit, which had a sales office in the UK. It made a number of well-known papers including Cocoon and Cyclus.

UK sales agency Performance Papers (PP) had a registered office in Manchester but operated from offices on the same industrial estate in Basingstoke as the separate Creative Papers business.

At the time of writing it was not clear how many staff had been made redundant. In the original administration announcement PP was said to have 11 staff, but an insider said they thought around 20 staff had been made redundant.

“Performance Papers were a wholly owned subsidiary to Arjowiggins Papier Couche which is the French company primarily associated with Bessé. So, as they are being liquidated, they advised the UK administrators that they wouldn’t send any further money. As such we were instantly liquidated on Monday,” a former employee told PrintWeek.

Administrators from FRP Advisory had not commented at the time of writing.

They are working with a preferred bidder for the separate Arjowiggins Fine Papers UK mills at Stoneywood and Chartham, and Basingstoke sales office, which are part of the Creative Papers division.

UPDATE AT 1:35pm: A spokesman for the joint administrators at FRP Advisory commented: “Unfortunately, following the order of the French Court on Friday 29 March for the liquidation of Arjowiggins Group subsidiary Papier Couches, Performance Papers has been forced to cease operations, resulting in all 10 members of staff based in Basingstoke being made redundant with immediate effect. The joint administrators are now supporting the affected employees in making claims against the Redundancy Payments Service. 

"This decision does not affect the 28 employees based in Basingstoke employed by Arjowiggins Fine Papers who continue to provide services to the Stoneywood Mill in Aberdeen. The proposed sale of Arjowiggins Fine Papers to a preferred bidder continues to proceed and a further update will be provided in due course.”

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