German investors acquire Reflex paper mill in Düren

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German investors acquire Reflex paper mill in Düren

February 02, 2015 - 18:50

DUEREN, Germany, Feb 2, 2015 (Press Release) - 

On 1 February 2015 German investors are taking over the paper mill Reflex in Düren, Germany. The investors include a private family consortium as the majority shareholder and the paper converter MAY+SPIES, a family run company with a great deal of expertise in the sector. It is in the interests of all the investors involved that Reflex will operate as an independent and autonomous company. Confidentiality has been agreed on the details of the acquisition of the new Reflex GmbH & Co. KG.

The new Reflex business model is clearly reliant on diversification. The multi-tiered strategy will initially be based on four business fields. Under the heading "Graphic Paper" strong brands such as Gohrsmühle, Zeta, Efalin, ZANDERS T2000 and others from the "ZANDERS Premium Paper" programme will continue to be produced and internationally marketed. In addition, this division will also be continually developed - including additional brands. The division of "High quality uncoated label paper" is already showing great potential and will form a stronger foundation of the product range in future. In "Technical paper" Reflex already has products with recognised unique selling propositions. Accordingly, this segment will be given an important role in future. Reflex is already showing a high willingness to invest. A fourth business field of a competitor will be taken over shortly. A letter of intent (LOI) for this purpose has already been signed. 

In addition to the product diversification with the four segments named, Reflex also intends to carry out market diversification by tapping new or dormant markets. The main focus initially will be on the region Germany, Austria, Switzerland. However, the European market will be developed rapidly and expansion Overseas is planned. In the next few years the investors are planning extensive investments in production facilities in order to ensure sustainability, efficiency and high product flexibility while retaining a high quality standard. Thus the construction of a new power station to supply steam and energy will be one of the first priority investments. The processes for this purpose have already been started.

On the opening of insolvency proceedings in October 2013, the insolvency administrator Dr Mark Boddenberg from the reputable legal firm Dr. Ringstmeier und Kollegen based in Düren, Germany assessed the potential at Reflex extremely positively. In close cooperation with those responsible from all divisions of the company, restrictive restructuring measures were carried out.

The necessary costs savings led, however, to a reduction in staff of around one third to 67 employees now. No easy situation for the dedicated chair of the works council Norbert Werres. Nevertheless, he is relieved about Reflex's prospects. All of the measures taken by the insolvency administrator pursued the target of ensuring the continuation and sustainability of Reflex. "Without the motivation and great performance of the employees during the tense situation of the insolvency phase we wouldn't have achieved this result for Reflex," said Boddenberg commenting on the current situation.

Harald Heine from Bogner-Gottschalk-Heine management consultants (BGH Consulting), Starnberg, Germany, accompanied the entire process at Reflex from the opening of insolvency proceedings on behalf of Boddenberg. Thus not only did he review the sustainability of the company, he also developed the new business model and accompanied the sales process. 

The recently appointed Chief Executive Officer of the new Reflex GmbH & Co. KG, Hariolf Koeder, has already been active as a consultant for Reflex at Harald Heine's side since the end of 2013. Employed in the paper industry for more than 25 years, Koeder has extensive experience in restructuring, international distribution and especially in reorienting companies. "In view of the great potential, the strong brands and above all, the proven loyalty of customers and employees, I see great development possibilities for Reflex on the market. I am looking forward to this challenge and to working together with the whole team," explained Hariolf Koeder.