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Lecta to Close PM 6 Coated Paper Line at Condat Mill in France on July 1

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Europe-based Lecta reports that a meeting of employee representatives this past week closes the period for consultation of staff representative bodies that began on March 22 in regard to restructuring of the company's Condat mill in France. The restructuring plan includes closure of the mill's PM 6 line and the associated layoff of employees. Line 6 will be shutdown beginning July 1.

Lecta notes that Condat's management has done everything possible to preserve jobs and keep the number of forced layoffs down. The initial project submitted to the workers' elected representatives on March 22 envisioned the elimination of 144 jobs. Five of these positions have been kept through negotiations with the representative bodies, which leaves the number of jobs eliminated now at 139. Incentives have been provided to facilitate voluntary early retirement as well as other kinds of voluntary redundancies (business creation, workforce transition, etc.). Any voluntary redundancy will enable the redeployment of an employee whose job is in jeopardy, the company points out, adding that these measures should help significantly reduce the number of forced layoffs.

The first dismissal notifications will be issued July 31, and will be scaled out until the end of 2013. Condat is not the only facility in the Lecta Group affected by the restructuring. Cost reduction measures are also underway at all of the group's operations, the company emphasizes.

Lecta's management foresees investments beginning this autumn to optimize the operation of the other two production lines with a view to extending their grammage ranges. These investments should be operational by the end of 2013. Until these investments are operationally commissioned, the manufacture of these products will temporarily be handled by other firms in the Lecta Group.

Lecta, the second largest European producer of coated paper, consists of three companies: Torraspapel (Spain), Cartiere del Garda (Italy), and Condat (France). Condat specializes in the production of woodfree coated paper. The company showed a turnover of EUR 456 million in 2012. It has some 658 employees.

The Condat mill is located in the Périgord region of France, straddling the villages of Lardin Saint Lazare and Condat sur Vézère. It is one of the most modern in Europe in the wake of the substantial investments in recent years. It has an annual production capacity of 580,000 metric tons.


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