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Manufacturing resumes

Jobs saved as Aussie firm Aldus acquires API Foils

Jamie Hepburn

Business minister Jamie Hepburn will visit the site (pic: Terry Murden)

More than 100 jobs have been saved in Livingston after Australian company Aldus Pty acquired the business of API Foils Europe from the administrator.

The deal, which does not include the Dutch or Asian subsidiaries, creates a new company API Foilmakers .

Aldus has operations throughout Australia, New Zealand, Malaysia and the US. Included in the group is Milford Astor Foilmakers, which manufactures foil in Australia and distributes it worldwide.

The new company will be led by Will Oldham, who was managing director between 2012 and 2015, together with key members of the existing senior management team.

Mr Oldham said: “I am delighted to be back leading the API’s European Foil business which has been at the forefront of quality graphic stamping foils for many years.

“Joining the Aldus Group will give our team the financial strength and support to ensure the we can continue to deliver the highest quality product to our customers across Europe and the world.

Returning: Will Oldham

“We are particularly pleased to be restarting the Scottish manufacturing facility and ensuring the continuing operation of our distribution hubs across Europe, delivering 160 jobs, including more than 100 in Scotland.”

Frank Floriano, Aldus CEO, added: “API has long been viewed as a market leader in high quality foils and we were very pleased to acquire the business.

“We are committed to provide additional capital and support to ensure that API will continue to supply its existing customers and invest in the development of market leading products.”

Commercial director Mark Gilbert, said: “We are delighted to be back in business and I would like to thank our customers for supporting all of our teams across our sites over the last few weeks and also those that helped us during the acquisition process. This support has just confirmed to us that this is a special business.

“We are looking to get back to normal production in Livingston as soon as possible, but it will take some time until we can offer a full range of products from manufacture.

“We will communicate every step with our customers in all markets and work with them to mitigate any further disruption than is necessary.”

Unite the union welcomed the news that API Foils has been taken over by a subsidiary of the company.

The news was confirmed by administrators Ernst & Young.

Minister for Business, Fair Work and Skills Jamie Hepburn said: “It’s welcome news that major global packaging business, Aldus, has now been agreed as the purchaser of the API Foils business in Livingston and I look forward visiting the site tomorrow.

“This result follows an intensive period of work to secure a viable option for the ongoing business. The Scottish Government worked alongside EY and Unite the Union throughout this period and I am delighted we have a positive outcome for the Livingston facility and its staff.  

“Scottish Enterprise will remain in contact with the local management team as it looks forward to a brighter future.”

Unite said the reduced workforce currently at Livingston have now been transferred to the purchaser under the Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) regulations.

It is Unite’s hope that the factory can scale up its operations quickly

– Mary Alexander, Unite

The factory faced permanent closure putting at risk 135 jobs due to its US based parent company Steel Partners Holdings’ proposal to close a number of its global factories on 31 January. 

The Livingston factory which recently won an order for labelling Prosecco worth £2 million just before Christmas is a long-established manufacturer of specialty foils and packaging materials, which are distributed to Europe, North America and Australasia. 

Unite deputy Scottish Secretary, Mary Alexander said: “Unite is grateful for the hard work that all interested parties have put into working towards a positive outcome for API Foils.

“The announcement that a subsidiary of the company has acquired the business and its assets is fantastic news for the workforce.  It is Unite’s hope that the factory can scale up its operations quickly and take on those workers who were made redundant by the previous announcement.

“We look forward to playing our part in making this factory a continued success and aim to meet the new management as soon as possible.”

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