In an interview with EUWID, Double A's Senior Executive Vice President Thirawit Leetavorn talked about the Alizay acquisition and Double A's future plans.
EUWID: Double A has recently purchased the assets of French Alizay mill. What does this acquisition mean to your company?
Leetavorn: It is a strategic acquisition. We were watching Europe as a market with great potential, especially France, but also the UK and Germany. After having analysed several opportunities, the Alizay mill appeared to be the best one because it is an operational site that is producing quality paper. Moreover, the Alizay mill is in a geographically good location for exports to any part of Europe.
EUWID: In view of the difficult market conditions and overcapacity on the European market, how does Double A intend to gain market share in France and Europe?
Leetavorn: Consumers choose Double A for its quality and its continued marketing programmes. We are active in a niche market where customers are less concerned by price when it comes to buy quality paper. We are not adding to the mass of low-priced paper on the market. This will allow us to produce Double A brand paper in Europe. Thanks to the geographic position of the Alizay mill, Double A paper will be produced not only for EU markets, but also for North Africa and Middle East markets. To sum up: we see the advantages of our product in the quality, the marketing and the ability to move to other markets.
EUWID: Double A reports it intends to produce recycled paper at Alizay as well.
Leetavorn: Yes, we will be producing uncoated woodfree paper with pulp produced in Thailand and also bring back the Evolve brand. Evolve is a well known and accepted brand throughout Europe, especially in the UK. Even customers in Australia commented on the Alizay acquisition. This shows the brand is well known all over the world.
EUWID: Have you acquired the Evolve brand?
Leetavorn: The details of the deal are not essential. Let's just say we are happy about the opportunity to produce the Evolve brand at Alizay.
EUWID: Are these your first steps into the recycled paper market?
Leetavorn: It is the first time we will produce recycled paper but we do not see any difficulties. The Evolve brand has always been produced at the Alizay mill and there is existing equipment and know-how for production.
EUWID: When do you expect production to resume?
Leetavorn: We anticipate we will need four to six months to achieve full production.
EUWID: Do you count on the former Alizay customer base?
Leetavorn: There have been discussions with the customers and they showed interest in continuing business relations. But this will take time to develop. Talks will be more concrete when production has started.
EUWID: Mr. Yothin [President of Double A] said the Alizay acquisition was the first step of Double A's future development in France. Are there further acquisitions planned in France or Europe?
Leetavorn: We see a lot of potential in Europe even if we are aware that the market is currently experiencing a difficult time. We aim at expanding our presence on the European market. I cannot say yet there will be more acquisitions, but we are always looking for options in Europe, but also in Asia and the USA.
EUWID: So where do you see Double A's goals for the future?
Leetavorn: First of all, we want to establish ourselves in France. Generally speaking, we are a dedicated office paper manufacturer and that is where we see the future of Double A.
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