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Hundreds of jobs saved after paper mill management buyout

Relief for 450 Scottish workers after under-threat Stoneywood Mill confirms sale of firm.

Saved: Around 450 jobs have been secured.
Saved: Around 450 jobs have been secured. STV

By Graeme Murray

Hundreds of jobs have been saved after the management buyout of an under-threat papermill.

Arjowiggins Fine Papers operated the Stoneywood plant in Bucksburn, Aberdeen, which has been in the hands of administrators since a takeover deal with its owners Sequana fell through.

Workers have faced an anxious wait for eight months as the search for a new buyer continued.

FRP Advisory confirmed on Wednesday it had sold the business and assets of its sister company in a deal which secures 559 jobs across the UK, including 450 jobs in Scotland.

The company manufactured fine and custom papers since 1770 while Arjowiggins Chartham also operated the Chartham Mill in Chartham, Kent where 85 jobs will be saved.

A further 27 jobs have been saved at Basingstoke, Hampshire where the company had an administration centre.

It has been an unsettling time for the company
Jonathan Mitchell, managing director

The purchase, for an undisclosed sum, has been made by Creative Paper Holdings, which was formed by a management buyout team.

All staff are transferring to the new company with immediate effect.

Jonathan Mitchell, managing director of the new firm said it had been an "unsettling time" for the company.

He added: "We are extremely grateful to the administrators, FRP Advisory, for having allowed the business to continue to trade while we found a workable solution.

"The support we have had from our staff, customers, suppliers and the Scottish Government has been incredible and without them this deal would not have been possible. There has been a real combined will to keep this historic business alive."

Iain Fraser of FRP Advisory said: "After a challenging eight months for everyone, we are delighted to have concluded a deal with the management buyout team that has saved 450 highly skilled jobs in Scotland and 559 jobs across the UK."

Union chiefs welcomed the management buyout after owners Sequana went into administration January 2019.

Shauna Wright, Unite regional industrial officer, said: "Unite are glad that after an extensive period of uncertainty for the staff and the local community the management buyout of the Stoneywood Mill in Aberdeen has been successful.

"We look forward to working with the new management structure going forward and continuing our recognition agreement with the company on behalf of our members."

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