Appvion announced completion of the sale of substantially all of the Company’s assets to a group of its lenders led by Franklin Advisers, Inc. The transaction will significantly reduce Appvion’s debt, provide additional liquidity, and better position the Company to compete long-term in the evolving specialty paper market and further invest in the innovation that has made it a market leader. As previously announced, the sale was approved by the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware on May 14, 2018. The total consideration was approximately $365 million, plus the assumption of substantial liabilities, including many of the Company’s contractual obligations. Prior to the closing of the transaction, the Company reached agreement with the United Steelworkers Union on new collective bargaining agreements for Appvion’s manufacturing facilities in Appleton, Wisconsin, West Carrollton, Ohio, and Roaring Spring, Pennsylvania. The new three-year agreements, which were ratified at the end of May, cover approximately 830 Appvion employees. Click Read More below for additional information.
After a successful year of transformation in 2019, Zanders Paper posted a strong first quarter of 2020; then the coronavirus pandemic hit the global economy and led to a significant decline in sales of specialty papers for consumables. The various effects of this challenging situation could not be compensated completely by the German company despite the increased operating profitability and the fundamentally good set-up and positioning.
Taking these circumstances into account, the Zanders Paper management has decided to carry out the continuation of the long-term restructuring of the company within the framework of insolvency proceedings and today filed an application to this effect with the competent district court in Cologne. This is done to protect the interests of all stakeholders including but not limited to the employees, creditors, customers and the City of Bergisch Gladbach. This gives Zanders Paper a breathing room to further rebuild and shape the company for the future.
During the opening insolvency proceedings, which are expected to last two to three months, business operations will be continued by the insolvency administrator. He will receive the full support of the management and the owners. The employees will be protected, wages and salaries will be secured through the insolvency payments, and all products will continue to be produced. This includes in particular the ranges of Chromolux paper and board, Zanlabel, Zanpack, Silver digital, Zanjet, and Zanbarrier.
Everyone involved is convinced that the upcoming reorganization will give the company the opportunity to undertake and implement all necessary measures to further improve the profitability and thus the sustainable competitiveness. The management and the workforce as well as some key suppliers and customers have already signaled their support. An independent business review commissioned in advance confirms the company’s good future prospects based on a state-of-the-art machinery, a unique expertise in paper manufacturing, and a wide product portfolio including strong brands like the world famous Chromolux.
The Zanders Paper team will contact all customers, suppliers and partners to confirm the details and next steps of the proceedings soon.