The administrators of a paper mill operator and printer, who are now trying to save over 600 jobs at the company, have called in CAPA to help maximise recoveries for creditors.

CAPA has been appointed to conduct audits of property costs and invoices at three large paper mills run by Arjo Wiggins Fine Papers, which fell into administration in January 2019 after its French-based parent company entered insolvency.

Arjo Wiggins is part of a group of companies owned by Sequana, a listed entity with shares traded on the Euronet Exchange in Paris. Sequana had been beset with financial problems since 2017, when it was hit by a €135m court claim for environmental clean-up costs, along with challenging conditions in the paper industry that continue today.

Because of Sequana’s insolvency proceedings, and Arjo Wiggins’s reliance on Sequana for funding, the fine paper printer struggled to pay its UK creditors.

Ultimately, Geoff Rowley, Tom MacLennan and Alex Fraser, of the corporate restructuring firm FRP Advisory, were appointed as joint administrators of the company on January 14 2019. They have since solicited offers from potential new owners of some of the group’s businesses and assets.

FRP has now appointed CAPA to conduct the accounts payable and property audits on the three paper mills, some of which have been operating for over 280 years.

In one case, CAPA’s Audit team will be using bespoke software to inspect the data on property costs including utility bills, plus all invoice data, on Arjo Wiggins’s site in Stoneywood, Aberdeen, where 491 staff work at a paper mill that has been running since 1770.

The team will undertake the same work at Chartham Mill, Kent, where 88 staff are based at a mill that was been operating since 1738.

CAPA’s auditors will carry out a forensic analysis to identify any ‘overspend’ in the data, or any errors or anomalies in the figures, which they can then recover to boost the returns for the creditors of Arjo Wiggins.