Last April, paper manufacturer Arjowiggins, part of the holding firm Sequana, had started a restructuring process for its Arjowiggins Graphic and Arjowiggins Creative divisions in Europe. Consequently, the company put two of its paper mills in France up for sale. Arjowiggins has not been able to sell these mills yet. However, the sale process is continuing and talks are reportedly under way with potential investors.
Sequana was presently in preliminary talks with a total of five potential buyers. Two of them were interested in the 140,000 tpy coated fine paper mill in Wizernes and three in the Charavines speciality paper mill, a company spokesperson explained.
Sequana said that there was "no non-compete clause", that is, it was not imposing any requirements when it comes to the types of paper that potential buyers could make at the two locations after acquiring them. However, the factories clients and order books were not part of the divestment process and are to be transferred to Arjowiggins' other production facilities.
The group intends to permanently close the Wizernes and Charavines paper mills in the event that an investor is not found by the end of next June.
No comments on sale of Appleton Coated
Under Sequana's restructuring plans, Arjowiggins is also meant to withdraw from the US market for coated graphic paper: the company thus has been on the hunt for a buyer for its US subsidiary Appleton Coated since the fourth quarter of last year. Sequana did not wish to reveal any details on how this divestment process was going. "We do not comment," the spokesperson said in response to EUWID's request for information.
The Appleton Coated mill in Combined Locks operates three paper machines with a total capacity of approximately 360,000 t (400,000 sh.t) a year. The company is producing woodfree coated and uncoated papers, publishing papers and technical and specialty grades.