A number of key players joined forces to get the deal over the finish line, according to an Aberdeen paper mill’s finance boss.
The Scottish Government, through Scottish Enterprise, worked with administrators for the firm FRP Advisory, the mill’s management team, unions and councils, to agree the buyout deal.
Stephen Smith, finance director at Stoneywood Paper Mill, said while it had been a “momentous day” for everyone involved in the business, there have been “many moments” when it looked like a deal might not materialise.
He added: “There’s been several highs and several lows over the last nine months or so.
“We’ve certainly doubted whether it was going to happen or not.
“But the positive message to say there are a number of key players who got us to this place.
“The support we’ve had from Scottish Enterprise in this process has been absolutely huge. Without them we wouldn’t be here today.”
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Praise was also forthcoming from mill bosses for Minister for Business, Fair Work and Skills Jamie Hepburn, who has been “absolutely amazing”, according to mill general manager Angus MacSween.
He said: “He’s been on the phone every week, not just to ourselves but the union. There has been a real feeling of we can’t let this go.”
Iain Fraser, joint administrator and partner with FRP Advisory, said the support they received from staff, Unite, suppliers, customers, politicians and the local communities had been “crucial”, particularly the “outstanding team effort” from everyone at the plant to keep the business trading.
Jamie Hepburn said: “This is great news for the employees and their families, and indeed welcomed across Aberdeen, the north-east and further afield.
“The Scottish Government, through Scottish Enterprise, has been working intensively with the administrator, management team, Unite and local partners throughout this entire process to secure this positive outcome.
“The priority now is to work closely with the new owners to realise their plans for the long-term success of the business and identify future opportunities in the sector, which ultimately benefit the local economy and wider north-east economy.”