GF Smith is new owner of Naturalis
Tuesday, June 23, 2015
GF Smith has acquired the Naturalis fine uncoated papers brand from the administrators of Tullis Russell.
The Hull-headquartered paper supplier had been the exclusive UK distributor of the Naturalis range for the past decade. It has now bought the “full intellectual property rights” on a worldwide basis from administrators at KPMG, as well as the remaining mill stock, for an undisclosed sum.
GF Smith joint managing director John Haslam said the firm was saddened by the loss of the long-established Tullis Russell mill, but pleased to be able to secure the rights to the high-end paper range.
“It’s been a lot of hard work, but we got there. Being privately-owned and independent, we could act swiftly,” he explained.
Haslam said the acquired mill stock involved a “considerable tonnage”.
“The rest of the stock will be with us later this week, so we can supply people straightaway. We now have a global list of customers and existing users of the brand, and we are talking to them about supply. We are looking to grow it from where it left off under the Tullis Russell banner.”
Naturalis will continue to be manufactured in the UK, “to the same exacting standards”, but GF Smith is keeping details of the mill involved under wraps for the time being. The firm’s flagship Colorplan range is made by James Cropper in Cumbria.
“We are just doing final tests,” Haslam explained. “The new mill will also be able to produce smaller volumes of special makings, for people who want bespoke sizes or special grammages.”
Naturalis is currently available in three versions: matt absolute white, smooth absolute white, and smooth vanilla. Grammages range from 120gsm to 400gsm.
GF Smith said the high-grade twin wire Naturalis range offered "exceptional print performance”. It is suitable for litho and digital printing as well as other processes such as letterpress and screen printing.
“We will probably look to extend the range as well,” Haslam added.
KPMG was called in to Fife-based Tullis Russell Papermakers at the end of April. The mill ceased production in May, and the administrators are now in the process of selling off its brands and assets.