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Papierfabrik Scheufelen initiates insolvency proceedings

Within six days of start of insolvency proceedings by traditional German paper mill Feldmühle Uetersen, Papierfabrik Scheufelen GmbH + Co. KG, Lenningen, also initiated insolvency proceedings on January, 30th 2018 at the local court of Esslingen.

Scheufelen is a producer of coated wood free papers for premium and commodity graphical applications, a market facing dramatic overcapacities and margin pressures. In 2016 the company launched under the brand phoenolux a high white SBS board for premium and luxury packaging applications, successfully gaining market share in the fast growing and demanding packaging industry. With the recent market introduction of grasspaper, the most environmental and cost friendly fresh fiber paper product available, Scheufelen laid promising ground for a sustainable future. The development and market launch of grasspaper was accompanied by Packaging Campus Lenningen GmbH in cooperation with Stuttgart-based Hochschule für Medien.

In 2017 the company generated revenues of EUR 83m with 340 employees and had an output of 104.000 tons of paper.

Scheufelen had been acquired by a consortium of private owners in May 2016, after massive losses in the preceding years. Since the acquisition the situation of the company improved significantly as a result of numerous restructuring measures as well as the strategic reorientation to the packaging sector. Losses and negative cash-flows were reduced substantially. However, massive price increases for pulp as well as chemicals in 2017 made it impossible to achieve the turn around. The promising high margin packaging product lines phoenolux and grasspaper together with the stable market share and leadership position in coated fine paper products, in particular heaven 42, were not yet able to sufficiently compensate the current cost situation under the existing product mix.

Given the close and continuing cooperation with its long standing partner IGEPA group for sales of its coated, high-white premium paper heaven 42 and the SBS board phoenolux, as well as the massive market and investor interest in grass paper (which will relieve the company from the dependency on pulp markets and prices) management is confident that the Scheufelen future can be secured.

Production and sales continue, in addition payroll expenses are guaranteed through March 2018 by the German federal employment agency. Operations of Packaging Campus Lenningen GmbH are not impacted by these proceedings.

Scheufelen Grasspaper distinguishes itself through its reliance on 40 % sun dried, non chemically treated, perennial grass fibre with a growth cycle of less than two months. Grasspaper and grasspellets have been awarded various international and national development awards in 2017 and are again nominees for the innovation award for sustainable packaging at the Fruit Logistica fair in Berlin (7th-9th of February 2018) as well as at the Green Tec Awards in May 2018.


rkj / 01/30/2018

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