Deal secured

MBO deal saves 559 jobs at Arjo Wiggins paper plants


Deal will keep historic plants alive

Arjowiggins Fine Papers and Arjowiggins Chartham, have been sold in a management buy-out deal which secures 559 jobs across the UK, including 450 in Scotland.

The purchase, which is for an undisclosed sum, confirms talks which were first reported in the summer. The MBO team, advised by FRP Advisory, has acquired the assets through new venture, Creative Paper Holdings which was set up for the purpose.

All staff are transferring with immediate effect.  The jobs saved by location are:Stoneywood, Aberdeen – 450; Chartham, Kent – 82; and Basingstoke – 27.

In January, the owner Sequana stated they had entered administration.

Arjowiggins Fine Papers operated the Stoneywood plant in Aberdeen, which has manufactured fine and custom papers since 1770, and an administration centre in Basingstoke.   Arjowiggins Chartham operated the Chartham Mill in Chartham, Kent which has manufactured high-quality translucent papers since 1938.

Funding for the deals has been provided through investment by the management buyout team, lending facilities, loan and equity finance from Scottish Enterprise.

Jonathan Mitchell, managing director of the new business, said: “We are absolutely delighted to have secured the future of a strong and sustainable business which has such a long heritage in the UK. Arjowiggins Creative Papers has world-renowned market-leading brands and products and a passionate and talented team. 

“We are looking forward to taking steps to further strengthen the business.

The support we have had from our staff, customers, suppliers and the Scottish Government has been incredible

– Jonathan Mitchell

“The last nine months has been an unsettling time for the company and we are extremely grateful to the administrators, FRP Advisory, for having allowed the business to continue to trade while we found a workable solution.

“The support we have had from our staff, customers, suppliers and the Scottish Government has been incredible and without them this deal would not have been possible. There has been a real combined will to keep this historic business alive.” 

Iain Fraser, joint administrator and partner with FRP Advisory said: “After a challenging eight months for everyone, we are delighted to have concluded a deal with the management buyout team that has saved 450 highly skilled jobs in Scotland and 559 jobs across the UK. 

“The support we have received from the staff, Unite union, suppliers, customers, politicians and the local communities has been crucial, particularly the outstanding team effort provided by everyone at the Stoneywood plant to keep the business trading in order to provide the management buyout team with the maximum help to complete a complex deal. 

“We would like to thank them for their help and shared determination to save the businesses.   We wish the new management team and the staff every success with their plans for the future.”

Shauna Wright, Unite regional industrial officer, said: “Unite are glad that after an extensive period of uncertainty for the staff and the local community the management buyout of the Stoneywood Mill in Aberdeen has been successful.

“We look forward to working with the new management structure going forward and continuing our recognition agreement with the company on behalf of our members. It’s also appropriate to thank all of the Unite shop stewards who have continued to seek the best possible outcomes for their members during this difficult time.

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