Sequana Announces Plans to Close Three Arjowiggins Paper Mills

Sept. 14, 2012 - Pantin, France-based Sequana, which owns Arjowiggins and Antalis, announced plans to close three Arjowiggins paper mills: Dalum Papir A/S mill in Denmark (graphic papers), the Ivybridge mill in the UK (papers used for security documents, creative papers) and the Witcel mill in Argentina (creative papers).

Arjowiggins produces technical and creative papers, and Antalis is a business-to-business distributor of paper and packaging products.

About 430 employees will be affected by the closures.

"This strategy aims to consolidate the Group's positions by enhancing its production model to bring capacity into line with demand and reduce its cost structure, and by pursuing its development in emerging economies and in growth markets on the distribution side of the business," Sequana said in a statement.

The company said the particularly tough conditions the paper industry since 2008 have accelerated the fall in demand for graphic papers, with the market contracting by approximately 6% every year.

"Given the structural decline and overcapacity on the market, and following the shutting down of a machine at the Chartham plant (creative papers) in the UK in August 2012, Arjowiggins has decided to continue to adjust its capacity in line with demand and to close its Dalum Papir A/S, Ivybridge and Witcel plants," Sequana explained.

The capacity reductions represent a total of 126,000 tonnes (including 103,000 tonnes for Dalum Papir A/S), or around 10% of the group's total production capacity.

The closure of the Dalum Papir A/S and Witcel plants should be effective by the end of 2012, and the closure of the Ivybridge plant in the first quarter of 2014, Sequana said.

All grade capacities affected by the closures will be transferred and manufactured at other group plants in France, the UK and Brazil, the company added.

Antalis Acquisitions
Sequana noted that Antalis has finalized two acquisitions of packaging product distributors — in Chile (Abitek) and in the Czech Republic (Branopac).

These acquisitions were carried out for an enterprise value of EUR 17 million and will contribute additional full-year sales of around EUR 15 million, Sequana said.

The acquisitions come on the heels of Antalis' early-2012 acquisitions of Ambassador in the UK and Pack 2000 in Germany in the same sector.

Sequana is a major player in the paper industry with leading positions in each of its two businesses: Arjowiggins - a leader in creative and technical papers, with more than 5,200 employees; and Antalis - European leader in the distribution of paper and packaging products with a presence in 44 countries and more than 6,000 employees.

Sequana reported sales of EUR 3.9 billion in 2011 and employed some 11,000 people worldwide.

SOURCE: Sequana