Sequana is working to reduce Arjowiggins' exposure to standard coated paper and strengthen company's position in recycled paper in Europe.
Arjowiggins plans to definitely exit the US market for coated graphic paper. According to Arjowiggins' parent Sequana, the company has initiated a process to sell off its US Coated division. The divestment of the coated graphic paper business in the US is said to be part of Sequana's strategy to reduce Arjowiggins' exposure to standard coated paper segment and refocus the company on the specialty business.
The company also mulls selling its Wizernes coated paper mill in France and consolidating graphic paper production at the French Bessé-en-Braye and Le Bourray mills. The capacity reduction was meant to offset the on-going decline in demand for coated fine papers and would "allow the Graphic division to selectively exit from low margin customers or geographical areas." Arjowiggins said in today's press release.
Wizernes paper mill runs one paper machine with a production capacity of 140,000 tpy of coated woodfree paper. In the case that no buyer could be found for the mill, the site was to be closed and the product range transferred to the Bessé mill, Arjowiggins announced.
Appleton Coated, Arjowiggins' US Coated subsidiary, produces coated papers for traditional and digital printing, specialty products and publishing papers. At the Combined Locks site in the US-state of Wisconsin the company runs one paper machine with an annual capacity of 400,000 t. Approximately 800 people are employed at Appleton Coated.
€30m investment in a new DIP plant
In order to strengthen its position in the recycled paper business in Europe, Arjowiggins also plans to invest some €30m in a new deinked pulp plant at the Bessé mill. The DIP plant is to become operational by mid-2016 and will serve the two paper machines at the site, according to the company.