The owner of supermarket Lidl has bought a paper mill to secure packaging supplies amid a “perfect storm” of soaring energy costs and strikes.
Schwarz Produktion, which owns Lidl and German department store Kaufland, acquired the mill from packaging producer Stora Enso in a €50m deal.
The deal comes as firms have been warned to expect disrupted packaging supplies after a “perfect storm” of strikes at major European paper mills, rising energy costs and rising raw materials prices threatened a “standstill” of packaging supply chains across Europe.
The move will ensure “a reliable supply of environmentally acceptable and ecologically sustainable paper” for packaging used by Lidl and Kaufland, Schwarz Produktion said.
The mill is “nearly independent of energy”, according to Jörg Aldenkott, CEO of Schwarz Produktion, as it features an on-site power station, which uses heat-power cogeneration – a more efficient way of producing energy.
The Maxau Mill produces 530,000 tonnes of sustainable paper a year. The acquisition of the mill and its 440 employees is set to be completed by the beginning of 2023 “at the latest”, subject to regulatory approval.
Jörg Aldenkott, CEO of Schwarz Produktion: “By purchasing the paper mill, Schwarz Produktion keeps on growing. Securing the supply of sustainable products and materials for the trading divisions within Schwarz Group is very important for us.”
He said the move will help meet the company’s sustainability goals and create an “eco-friendly circular economy”.
Seppo Parvi, CFO and head of paper division at Stora Enso said: “We are very pleased with this agreement, as it fulfils our goal of providing a sustainable long-term future for the Maxau site and its employees. We will continue with the divestment process for our remaining three paper assets.”
☛ Want to stay up to date with the news? Sign up to our daily bulletin.