Sappi Fine Paper Europe announces final closure of Biberist Mill in Switzerland - 20 July 2011

After an exhaustive search for possible purchasers for its Biberist mill in Switzerland, Sappi Fine Paper Europe has today announced that it has been unsuccessful in its attempts to find a suitable acquirer to allow continued operations and employment at the mill.


The company has therefore decided on the complete closure of the mill. Production at paper machines 8 and 9 has already ceased and production on the uncoated paper line will halt at the end of August. Redundancy notices to all remaining employees affected by the closure are being sent out today.


"The process to find a suitable purchaser included numerous discussions with interested parties and involved close cooperation between local mill management and Sappi’s European and global management teams to make the purchase as attractive as possible," said Sappi Fine Paper Europe CEO, Berry Wiersum. "Unfortunately several industry players quickly withdrew their interest and we were unable to come to an agreement with any other interested parties."


Sappi has agreed a social plan with the employees and the labour unions. Meanwhile Sappi continues its search for a new owner for the site.


Approximately 550 employees in total will be affected by the closure, of which 134 have been given notice earlier.


The volumes produced at the mill will be transferred to other Sappi sites in Europe. There will be no supply interruption to customers during the mill closure and transfer of production.

With the cessation of coated graphic paper production at Biberist mill, Sappi will reduce its graphic paper capacity by 500 000 tons per annum.




Issued by:

Brunswick South Africa on behalf of Sappi Limited
Tel + 27 11 502 7300
Fax + 27 11 268 5747

For further information contact:

Mat J.H. Quaedvlieg
Director Manufacturing
Sappi Fine Paper Europe
Tel  +32 (0)2 67 69 703
Mobile +32 (0)495 588 703

Nicolas Mühlemann 
Mill Director
Sappi Fine Paper Europe – Biberist mill
Tel.: +41 (0)32 671 31 80
Claudia Hammerich
Manager Corporate Communications 
Sappi Fine Paper Europe
Tel: +32 2 676 97 84
Mobile: +32 472 61 89 66 

André F Oberholzer 
Group Head Corporate Affairs
Sappi Limited
Tel: +27 11 407 8044
Mobile: +27 83 235 2973