Succession under way at the top for Arjo Wiggins

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The Independent Online
Arjo Wiggins, the Anglo-French paper and packaging group, yesterday filled the gap created by last week's resignation of Daniel Melin, the chief executive. The announcement that he would be succeeded by Philippe Beylier, currently managing director, coincided with a report that Sappi, the largest paper and forest products group in South Africa, had recently held talks with Arjo Wiggins about merging their coated wood-free businesses.

Eugene van As, chairman of Sappi, said after the company's annual meeting that depressed pulp prices made a case for consolidation in the European paper industry. "We have talked to a large number of players about the possibility of restructuring our coated wood-free business and one of those was Arjo," he said.

Operating rates are high because companies have failed to curtail production. "In the short term, prices may decline," he said.

Arjo also said it was seeking a successor to Cob Stenham chairman (above), who turned 65 in January. He has agreed to remain chairman until the end of September.