Kronospan buys Knowsley factory assets for eastern Europe expansion

13 December 2012


Kronospan has confirmed that it has bought the particleboard production machinery at Sonaeā€™s closed factory in Liverpool, UK and will ship the equipment to eastern Europe.

Wolf Harig, board member of Kronoplus - a Kronospan holding company - said the group's Swiss-based Contiplus AG holding company had bought the equipment. The purchase price is believed to be around €19m.

"Eastern Europe will be the final destination, where we have a number of projects," said Mr Harig. "But we have not made a final decision on which site."

Mr Harig said there was still a need for particleboard plants in eastern Europe, as opposed to the overcapacity in western Europe.

Nigel Graham, managing director of Sonae UK, said there had been extensive interest in the Knowsley plant assets from Europe, North America and Asia, but Sonae's key aim had been to sell all of the machinery as one package.

Sonae is still hoping to supply the UK market from its other European plants.

Although the closure has resulted in the loss of some of its UK business, Sonae says that it is still supplying its core customer base.