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End of the line for historic papermaker

Apr 21, 2023

Jo Francis Friday, May 7, 2021

Zanders Paper has gone into liquidation after attempts to save the business via a financial restructure proved unsuccessful.

The German papermaker is best-known for its high gloss, cast coated Chromolux range of paper, label papers, and board.

It had been badly hit by the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, which resulted in a "significant decline in sales" of its specialty papers.

Zanders entered a form of administration in March and attempted to reorganise, but this has proved unsuccessful.

As a result, operations ceased at the end of last month, and existing orders will not be completed.

In a statement, provisional insolvency administrator and Doctor of Law Mark Boddenberg said: "It is with great regret that we have to inform you that the business operations of Zanders Paper GmbH have been discontinued as of 30 April 2021.

"As a customer, you must assume that you will no longer receive open orders. We will inform you about the sale of remaining paper stocks in a timely manner, insofar as possibilities exist," he stated.

"On behalf of the entire staff of Zanders Paper GmbH, I would like to thank you for your loyalty, also and especially in the past weeks and months."

Justin Hobson, marketing director at Chromolux stockist Fenner Paper, said the situation was incredibly sad.

"This is very sad and just shows how the industry is at the moment. It's a terrible shame."

Zanders had two paper machines at its site near Cologne, and a total annual capacity of 325,000 tonnes.

PM2 is 3.2m-wide and made grammages from 80-350gsm. PM3 is 6.6m-wide and made 35-160gsm papers.

The site has seven cast coaters and can triple coat on both sides of the sheet. It also runs five reel slitting machines and eight sheeting machines.

Hobson described PM3 as "an absolutely beautiful paper machine".

"I can't believe nobody will buy the cast coaters or the Chromolux name. The market has contracted massively, but there's still a demand for cast coated paper," he added.

Fenner also sells Favini's Astralux cast coated range.

Fellow German papermaker Reflex, which makes the Zeta range of papers, is a separate company and completely unconnected to Zanders.

Zanders was founded in 1828 and the Chromoloux brand dates back to 1958. It makes other papers under the Zan- range of brands

The company has been through a series of changes of ownership, and a previous insolvency, in recent years.

Former owner Metsä Board sold the business in 2015. It entered insolvency proceedings in the summer of 2018, and was taken over in November of that year by a new company headed by Norwegian pulp and paper businessman Terje Haglund.

Two years ago Swedish firm Jool Invest became co-owner.

Zanders Paper has gone into liquidation after attempts to save the business via a financial restructure proved unsuccessful.