Ahlstrom merges with Swedish paper company

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One of Berwickshire’s biggest employers, Ahlstrom, has merged with Munksjo, another producer of paper and fibre-based materials.

The merger of Ahlstrom-Munksjo this month, making the new company a global leader in its field, was approved by the European Commission last month.

“The two companies bring together complementary offerings and market presences with few overlaps, which means that there will be no immediate changes in our business partners’ current businesses or contacts with the company,” said Stuart Nixon, plant manager at Chirnside and Radcliffe for Ahlstrom-Munksjö.

The merged company of Ahlstrom-Munksjö, serving customers worldwide, has 6,200 employees in 41 production and converting facilities in 14 countries.

Ahlstrom is a Finnish-based company, and Munksjo’s headquarters are in Sweden.

“Our size and global presence is not only beneficial to customers but also provides enhanced career opportunities for employees,” added Mr Nixon.

“Our name and logo type have changed, but our efforts to create attractive, safe and inclusive work environments and to be an active and responsible member of our local and global communities continue.”

With no significant overlap in production operations the merger of the two companies is expected to have “only positive impacts on the UK operations”.

“We look forward to working closely with our new colleagues and expect to welcome our new chief executive officer, Jan Astrom on his first visit to Chirnside in early May,” added Mr Nixon.

Ahlstrom took over the Chirnside paper factory from the US-based Dexter Corporation in 2000, and in 2009 a new £23m production line was introduced, producing the world’s first completely-biodegradable teabags and increasing its 180-strong workforce to more than 200.