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La Seda to shut down Greek PET operation

By: Richard Higgs
EUROPEAN PLASTICS NEWS

June 4, 2013

European PET packaging group La Seda de Barcelona has begun the formal process of closing down its Greek PET and packaging preform subsidiary Artenius Hellas.

The group, based in Barcelona, Spain, reported to the Spanish stock exchange regulator CNMV, that, under the process, it has reached agreement to terminate labor contracts with the workforce at the Artenius Hellas plant in Volos, Greece.

Artenius Hellas, which was reported to have earlier cut salaries of its workers, had been in statutory talks with representatives of 92 employees prior to plans to cease operation of the facility.

Labor agreement follows the liquidation decision over the loss-making 80,000 metric ton per year Greek PET operation which has suffered from a reduction in production capacity and falling local demand, the group said.

Apart from the Greek plant, it operates three other PET facilities in Italy, Turkey and Spain as well as raw material chemical units in Spain and Portugal.

LSB, which is still struggling to reach an agreement over the renegotiation of its outstanding 230 million euro debt, has been granted a further reprieve on repayments for its syndicated loan. The Catalan group has obtained a further month's extension until 30 June to defer required payments.

LSB is working to get a tentative debt refinancing agreement involving the US Anchorage investment fund ratified by the lenders of 75 percent of its syndicated debt, representing more than half of its creditors. Debt renegotiation is essential for LSB to avoid bankruptcy.

If the deal is approved it could mean corporate restructuring and separation of LSB's buoyant APPE packaging operations from its less successful PET polymer and recycling divisions.