SCA has six months to divest two British facilities acquired as part of its €1.32B takeover of GP's European tissue unit; deadline for selling operations in Middlebrook, England, and Bridgend, Wales, might be extended, says SCA

LOS ANGELES , July 26, 2012 () –

Svenska Cellulosa Aktiebolaget (SCA) has six months to sell at least one of the two facilities in Great Britain that it just acquired as part of its purchase of Georgia-Pacific LLC’s European tissue business, reported The Bolton News on July 26.

The divestiture is being required by the European Union (EU) as a stipulation for its approval of the €1.32-billion (US$1.62 billion) acquisition, which was completed on July 19.

SCA must divest two former GP tissue operations in Middlebrook, England, and in Bridgend, Wales. The GP operation at Ramsbottom, England, is not affected, The Bolton News reported.

Six months was given to sell the Middlebrook operation, but more time might be granted if needed, said an SCA spokesperson.

The company told its workforce last week that it has begun to take over the GP tissue facilities throughout Europe, the spokesperson said.

The trade unions, which are reportedly shocked by the news, want a detailed explanation of the acquisition’s conditions from a representative of the EU. The bosses have declined to say if there will be job losses, reported The Bolton News.

Although “morale is low,” North West Unite remains “hopeful” that both sites will be sold as going concerns, said Nora Ashton, an official at the trade union. The Middlebrook facility employs about 300 people.

SCA, which is based in Sweden, is the world’s third-largest supplier of paper and forest products. Before the acquisition, U.S.-based GP had 15 production sites in seven European countries, employing about 5,000 people, The Bolton News reported.

The primary source of this article is The Bolton News, Bolton, England, on July 26, 2012.


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