South African paper maker Sappi said on Wednesday that it would close its entire Biberist mill in Switzerland after failing to find a buyer.
Sappi Fine Paper Europe said in a statement that around 550 employees in total at the canton Solothurn site would be affected by the closure.
It said that there had been lengthy discussions about buying the plant. "Unfortunately several industry players quickly withdrew their interest and we were unable to come to an agreement with any other interested parties," Sappi Fine Paper Europe CEO Berry Wiersum was quoted as saying.
Production at two paper machines has already ceased and production on the remaining uncoated paper line will halt at the end of August.
For the mayor of Biberist, Martin Blaser, the news represents a “black day” for the town, which is losing part of its tradition. Meanwhile, the Unia trade union said it was a “brutal end” to the mill and has called on the cantonal authorities to ensure that the 23-hectare mill site retains its industrial use.
swissinfo.ch and agencies