UK

Northwood & Wepa acquires former GB&I G-P private label business

Northwood & Wepa has acquired the former GB&I Georgia-Pacific private
label tissue business from SCA.

Northwood & Wepa is a joint venture made up of the shareholders of Northwood Paper Sales, the Fecher family, and the Krengel family, the shareholders of the Wepa Group.

The move was made on 1 May and makes Northwood & Wepa the UK’s third largest manufacturer of private label, toilet tissue and kitchen towel serving the major retailers consumer
market.

Chairman and managing director of Northwood and Associated Companies Paul Fecher told TW: “The
opportunity to acquire the Bridgend facility producing e-Tad Tissue with its modern converting operations gives the plant a solid platform for further growth.

“The business under independent management guided by us will bring significant opportunities for the UK and Ireland private label clients.”

The structure will allow Northwood & Wepa to operate independently and will continue to focus on the needs of the private label sector.

Martin Krengel, chief executive of the Wepa Group, added: “Additional products will be added to satisfy the needs of our clients. Whilst the business will operate as an independent business unit it is welcome to share resources from both joint venture partner’s other operations.

“Over the past few years both joint venture partners have investigated a number of acquisition opportunities some have been completed, we are pleased that this acquisition was successfully concluded and meets our criteria on grounds of quality dedicated employees and also enhances our market coverage.”

For the shareholders of the Northwood companies the acquisition expands the overall business now including consumer products, and Northwood is now able to offer the full range of finished products in e-Tad and conventional tissue for every sector of the consumer and AfH markets.

For the Krengel family, already a major supplier in mainland Europe of private label products as well as in the AfH markets, the acquisition means an independent UK market presence by providing local manufacture across the market.

The UK was one area where local production was identified by the joint venture partners as being essential.

The acquisition was facilitated by a European Commission ruling.

The Northwood Paper Sales companies also consists of Connect Hygiene Products, Disley Tissue, Peter Grant Papers, Lancaster Tissue, Northwood Recycling and Northwood Logistics, all of which serve the hygienic sector with the full assortment of parent reels as well as AfH converted products.

The Northwood companies employ some 350 people throughout the UK with annual sales of €150 million.

The three Krengel brothers are shareholders of the WEPA businesses with recycled and virgin tissue as well as hand towel base paper making and converting factories in Germany, Italy, Poland, Spain and France.

The company works mainly in the continental private label sector as well as serving the AfH markets.

The businesses employ some 2,700 people across Europe with annual sales of €900 million.

SCA’s divestments of former G-P units approved

Last month, SCA said that in conjunction with the acquisition of Georgia-Pacific’s European tissue operations during 2012, the EU Commission imposed requirements concerning the divestment of certain units within consumer tissue.

The EU Commission has now approved the divestments.

The requirements imposed by the EU Commission included the sale of parts of Georgia-Pacific’s former operations in the UK, Ireland and the Benelux countries, and certain operations in the Scandinavian region.

The branded business in the UK, Ireland and the Benelux countries is being sold to Sofidel. The production facility in Horwich, UK, is included in this transaction.

The retailer brand businesses in the UK and Ireland are being sold to Northwood & Wepa. The production facility in Bridgend, UK, is included in this transaction.

Parts of the Nordic retailer brand business have been sold to Vajda Papir. The production facility in Drammen, Norway, is included in the transaction, together with a conversion line from the facility in Nokia, Finland.

These operations together represent total sales of about EUR 200m and the combined purchase consideration is approximately EUR 100m.

 


SCA starts staff consultation at Outbridge site

SCA has started a period of consultation on the future of its site at Oughtibridge in the UK; a move that could impact 161 staff.

The site has been operating converting lines to convert rolls of paper made elsewhere into commercial toilet rolls, paper hand towels, wiper rolls and medical rolls since 2007.

SCA bought the plant in 2012 as part of a wider acquisition of Georgia- Pacific’s European tissue operations and has since carried out an in-depth review of the UK & ROI business.

In a statement, SCA said: “This review has been concluded with the proposal that the site should be closed and some of the converting lines relocated to another SCA facility at Skelmersdale in Lancashire, with the logistics operation moving to Ashton-in- Makerfield, near Wigan.

“If adopted, the proposals could impact on 161 positions at the site.”

The period of consultation will be for a minimum of 45 days.

Tony Richards, product supply director, SCA, said: “To remain a long-term sustainable employer in the UK, our converting operations at Oughtibridge and Skelmersdale have to be consolidated into one site and expansion of the Oughtibridge site is not economically viable, due to its age, infrastructure and manufacturing limitations.

“We are consulting fully with our employees about our proposals for the closure of Oughtibridge phased over a period until early 2015.”

 


NTC (Papermill) prosecuted for health and safety breach

UK-based tissue manufacturer NTG (Papermill) has been fined £10,000 after pleading guilty to a breach of health and safety regulations.
The announcement was made on 3 May following an incident at the company’s Lansil Industrial Estate factory on 24 August 2009.

According to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), a worker could have been killed when metal grating gave way under his feet at the tissue site.

The 39-year-old from Lancaster had been helping to hose down machinery during a two-week shutdown at the factory when he tried to cross the mezzanine floor, six metres above the ground.

As he stepped onto it, the metal grating gave way. His arms and jaw hit the floor as he fell and he managed to pull himself up.

The worker, who has asked not to be named, suffered bruising and friction burns to his chest and along his arms.

An HSE investigation found the company did not have a suitable inspection and maintenance regime for checking the floor at the factory, despite it being in a humid area and at risk of becoming unstable due to rust.

The company was also ordered to pay £5,866 in prosecution costs.

 


Italy

Italy’s Lucart Group has announced a streamlining of its operations through a merger of its various units into a single company.

The group, which is the parent company of Cartiera Lucchese, has incorporated its Fato Professional SpA, Forest Srl and Airtissue Srl into Cartiera Lucchese SpA, which will in turn now operate under the name Lucart SpA.

Fato Professional specialises in tissue products for the AfH sector and is also a leading producer of paper table covers and placemats. The Forest unit is active in the timber sector. Airtissue, which was formerly part of Georgia-Pacific, includes the 45,000tpy Castelnuovo mill in Lucca and the 16,000tpy Avigliano mill in Potenza.

News from RISI (www.risiinfo.com)

 


Austria

SCA has said the chatter mark problems on its PM4 Yankee dryer have been solved by Infinikote.

After several years of regrinding, SCA Ortmann had thermal spraying on the Yankee dryer using Infinikote from Metso. It used Metso’s Farros MZA grinding machine and six spray guns
to apply the Infinikote.

Josef Berger, operation manager, SCA Hygiene Products, said: “Today we have nearly no Yankee wear.

“Both machines have been running trouble-free for more than 12 years without regrinding. We are very satisfied with the result and so is our machine operator who handles the Yankee dryer with care and makes sure the creping operation is well centerlined.”

SCA Ortmann is located in Pernitz, a one-hour drive from Vienna. The mill has two tissue machines producing bathroom tissue, napkins and hankies. According to Metso, PM 4 is the widest tissue machine in Europe with a sheet width at the reel of 6.92 metres.

The machine is running 100% recycled pulp at 1,870m/min and it produces 91,000 tonnes per year.

 


Belarus

Muniks boosts production capacity with Crescent Former buy

Muniks has invested in a secondhand slope wire machine that it plans to rebuild into a Crescent Former.

The Minsk, Belarus-based tissue producer has made the investment to improve the quality of its tissue products following an increase in demand from customers.

Hergen Paper Machinery has been contracted to supply the complete Crescent Former unit which included all necessary supplement engineering and start up services.

Once up and running, the 2.5m machine will work at 1,100 m/min to produce light tissue from 13g/m2 up to 30g/m2 from virgin pulp.

The concept of rebuild is based on Hergen’s HCF 800 – Smart Plus design including HCF 800 Innova Flow headbox and Crescent Former unit.

Reusing of existing machine components was the key to achieve the best investment costs with top tissue quality and required capacity.

The mill operates two fourdrinier machines producing waste paper and partially virgin pulp tissue products. The 60tpd machine will be started up at end of 2013 year.