Troubled paper mill Bridgewater Paper Company will be liquidated after administrators failed to find a buyer for the firm as a going concern.
On the 18 May, administrator Ernst & Young sold Bridgewater’s property and the land at Ellesmere Port, Cheshire, to the Manchester Ship Canal Company for an undisclosed sum. According to the firm’s Notice of statement of affairs, Bridgewater hoped to realise £3m for them.
Peel Ports Mersey, which owns the Manchester Ship Canal Company, hopes to develop the 75 acres of land for power generation, bulk cargos or distribution centres. It plans to meet a number of potential tenants and users in the following weeks to establish how the site can be developed further.
Peel Ports head of business development Stephen Carr said: “This acquisition fits in well with our strategy of continuing to develop the port of Liverpool and the Manchester ship canal as a key logistical hub for the UK, maximising the potential of 44 miles of waterfront, and allowing customers to deliver value from cheaper and greener access to the major population centres.”
Bridgewater, which was owned by AbitibiBowater, went into administration in February this year as a result of “onerous” energy costs along with the age of the mill and a general inefficiency in its technology.
In February, the firm sold the recycling arm of the firm, Cheshire Recycling, to Palm Paper for £800,000 and is now trading under the name Palm Recycling.
According to the Notice of result of meeting of creditors, the company owes more than £300m in debts. But MRW reported in April that Ernst & Young believed this estimate to be “significantly understated”. A review of the debts is to be published in the coming weeks.