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Aylesford Newsprint applies to go into administration

Major recycled paper mill Aylesford Newsprint is set to go into administration.

The company announced to staff on 23 February that it is making an application to the courts.

Aylesford Newsprint sources 500,000 tonnes of recovered fibre annually in order to manufacture on average 400,000 tonnes of 100% recycled newsprint. It collects all grades of paper, with specific emphasis on newspapers, magazines and mixed paper.

The company also offers paper bank collection systems for local authorities and businesses, which raises money for several charities.

Paper has been manufactured on the Aylesford site since 1922.

Local MP Tracey Crouch tweeted: “Dreadful news about Aylesford Newsprint seeking administration. I will be doing all I can to support company, 300+ employees and customers.”

Aylesford Newsprint said: “When administrators are appointed they will provide more information.”

In October 2012, owners SCA and Mondi sold the company to US private equity firm The Martland Holdings.

In November, Finnish paper maker UPM announced it was shutting down one newsprint machine in the UK as part of a restructuring programme to reduce the company’s publication paper capacity by 800,000 tonnes.

At the time, UPM said the European market was suffering from overcapacity, and president and chief executive Jussi Pesonen noted: “The current operating rates are unacceptably low and the current economic environment is not promising tailwind for 2015.”

Industry reporter Ian Martin examines the the possible knock-on effects to the UK recycled paper market for MRW in the next edition, out on 7 March.

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