Hundreds of jobs at risk as paper mill owner enters administration

Hundreds of workers face an uncertain future as a paper mill in production for nearly 250 years was placed into administration.

Arjowiggins Fine Papers at the Stoneywood Mill in Aberdeen is one of a number of UK businesses facing the measure from French parent company Sequana.

It follows the firm filing a petition on January 8 to begin receivership proceedings for various subsidiaries in France.

The Aberdeen mill has been in operation since 1770 and has a turnover of £120 million but now 489 staff face the threat of redundancy, along with 29 based in Basingstoke, Hampshire.

  • Arjowiggins Fine Papers Limited - Aberdeen (489 staff) and Basingstoke, Hampshire (29 staff)
  • Argowiggins Chartham Limited - Chartham, Kent (90 staff)
  • Arjobex Limited - Clacton-on-Sea, Essex (48 staff)
  • Performance Papers Limited - Manchester (11 staff)
  • The Wiggins Teape Group Limited - Manchester (seven staff)

Joint administrator Iain Fraser, partner with FRP Advisory, said: “The Stoneywood Mill in Aberdeen has a long tradition and reputation for producing fine and creative papers of the very highest quality for a global customer base.

“Unfortunately, the business has been severely affected by rising costs and difficult trading conditions, and the insolvency proceedings begun in France left the directors no option but to place the UK companies in administration.

“We will continue to trade the business whilst exploring all options for securing a future for the site.”

Other Arjowiggins companies placed into administration include at Chartham, Kent (90 staff); Arjobex in Clacton-on-Sea, Essex (48 staff), Performance Papers in Manchester (11 staff) and the Wiggins Teape Group, also in Manchester (seven staff).

A Sequana statement said: “Following the receivership proceedings opened in France at the request of Arjowiggins and some of its subsidiaries, the boards of directors of some of Arjowiggins’ companies in the UK have decided to file notices of appointment of an Administrator for the following companies AW UK Holdings Ltd, Arjo Wiggins Fine Papers Ltd, ArjoWiggins Chartham Ltd, AW UK Holdings Ltd, Arjowiggins Sourcing Ltd, Arjobex Ltd and Performance Papers Ltd.

“These companies operate the mills of Stoneywood, Chartham and Clacton.

“Under the aegis of administrators, these procedures will help support the measures undertaken to find buyers for Arjowiggins’ businesses.”

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