Paper and Publishing News – February 2014

Following the announcement in January of the Verso acquisition of New Page, there has been a delay to the plans. After some four weeks a problem has arisen due to the creditors lack of interest in the proposed debt exchange plan.


IP have announced that the distribution solutions providers, Xpedex and Unisource are to merge to create a strong platform for profitable growth in Print, Packaging and Facility solutions.

Further to the Stora-Enso announcement to close their Corbeheim mill in France, negotiations with the work force have resulted in the plant coming to a standstill due to safety issues. This has impacted on customers due to non-production of orders, and no deliveries leaving the mill. Some products have been switched to alternative mill sites to help alleviate the logistical problems.

At the same time, Stora also announced the intended closure of PM1 at Veitsiluoto with the loss of >190000tns Offset & Gravure grades due to falling demands. Employees stopped production for 48hrs in protest over the estimated job losses of some 90 employees.

Publishing - Catalogue - Retail - Mail Order

Catalogue News

Multi-channel retail business N Brown Group, reported a >7% YOY growth in the six week period from December to early January.

The N Brown Group are to merge the teams involved in High & Mighty and Jacamo brands.

Gould Publication Papers in conjunction with Sappi have become Gold sponsors to CatEx members. Their combined expertise will benefit catalogue publishers with Paper Management and alternative grade offerings.

Retail News

Established in 1959 Hotter Shoes have been acquired by Electra Private Equity plc.

Sports Direct are seeking to work closely with Debenhams plc, having recently aquired >5% stake in the store group. SD also own USC, Republic and JJB sports.

Mothercare is looking to divest it’s retail chain, Early Learning Centre which it acquired in 2007 following a period of trading difficulties. It is Rumoured that Tesco are interested.

Poundland founder Steve Smith is looking to launch an on-line parallel, with a minimum order value of £23 plus P&P.

Publishing News

US publishers have mixed views on the Verso/NewPage merger as they anticipate the potential of reductions in capacity.

Hearst Magazines UK have launched the UK version of luxury magazine, Town & Country, which caters for ‘ men and women of style’.

Scottish newspaper & magazine group DCThomson reported a 24% fall in pre-tax profits for the year ending March 2013.

Newsweek have delayed their much awaited decision to relaunch as a printed edition until March – the magazine went digital at the end of 2012.

The Rosemary Conley Fitness organization and associated Quorn Publishing has been put into administration by the parent group. Many of the fitness outlets are franchised so not directly affected, but the future remains uncertain for the remainder of the organisations’ staff.


The introduction of the EUTimber Regulation in March 2013, has resulted in the need for a degree in Dendrology! This is an extension of Botany, but focused on trees specifically. Questionnaires abound requesting timber sources of pulp & paper, and not content with just the tree species, there is a requirement for genus as well. So it’s important to know your Quercus Pedunculata (English Oak) from your Castenea Sativa Alnus (Chestnut).


As reported last month, Website Leeds including Glynn Print which went into receivership in December have re-emerged trading as Website Print.