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Fedrigoni acquires Arjowiggins’ Spanish subsidiary as insolvent UK activities fail to find buyer

Katie Nichol

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Fedrigoni acquires Arjowiggins’ Spanish subsidiary as insolvent UK activities fail to find buyer

Italian papermaker Fedrigoni has announced the acquisition of Spanish premium papers specialist Guarro Casas from Arjowiggins. The news comes as Arjowiggins’ struggling UK operations failed to find a buyer within the allotted timeframe.

Hot on the heels of its acquisition of a majority stake in French RFID inlays and tags supplier Tageos earlier this year, Italy’s Fedrigoni has purchased Barcelona-based Guarro Casas from Arjowiggins. The acquisition aims to further strengthen Fedrigoni’s presence in premium papers for the luxury packaging market.

Specialized in premium papers for luxury packaging and binding, Guarro Casas operates a plant in Gelida (Barcelona) with a staff of 140.

"The inclusion of this new company in our group will expand our portfolio with additional know-how and technologies fully complementary with ours,” Marco Nespolo, CEO of the Fedrigoni Group, said in a statement. He adds: “Future synergies will then also involve Fedrigoni's Self-Adhesives business unit, with special reference to the premium labels segment.”

Arjowiggins Group’s UK subsidiaries in administration

Fedrigoni said the agreement was signed a few days after independent papermaker Arjowiggins Group’s UK subsidiaries filed for administration. (Editor’s note: administrators were appointed to 10 Arjowiggins Group UK subsidiaries on September 22nd to explore the sale of its sites and assets; Arjowwiggins owns and operates two mills in the UK, in Stoneywood, Aberdeen, and Chartham, Kent). The insolvency proceedings did not include Guarro Casas or Arjowiggins’ China subsidiary, ArjoWiggins Quzhou.

Interpath Advisory, the administrators, nonetheless tells Luxe Packaging Insight that “the joint administrators are inviting offers for its subsidiary in China, which specialises in translucent papers.”

Providing an update on Arjowiggins’ UK activities, a spokesperson for Interpath Advisory comments: “The initial sale of business deadline passed without identifying any immediately deliverable transactions to secure the sale of either UK mill as an operational facility. The Joint Administrators will continue to look for buyers, but this will now be alongside the site wind-down strategy and the sale of assets on a piecemeal basis.”

Arjowwiggins’ UK operations were established in 2019 via a management buy-out following the insolvency of French parent companies Arjowiggins and Sequana. The group’s losses have widened recently: “Following on from the severe challenges posed by the pandemic, the significant economic headwinds which have been impacting industrial manufacturing businesses up and down the country, including skyrocketing energy costs and spiralling input prices, have proved to be overwhelming for the Group.”

Some 368 of the Group’s 463 UK-based employees were made redundant following the apppointment of administrators.

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