JOBS at creative paper firm based in Basingstoke are under threat after the company was placed into administration.

Arjowiggins, which has a headquarters in Chineham, went into administration on Tuesday, putting 29 jobs at risk at the Basingstoke base, according to the Unite union.

The company, which has been producing fine and custom-made papers from the Stoneywood Mill in Aberdeen since 1770, is part of a business called Sequana, a listed French manufacturer and distributor of paper, packaging and print solutions.

Unite said that it believed the administration was triggered by problems experienced by Sequana, which had been involved in a legal dispute with British American Tobacco.

Unite national officer for the paper industry Louisa Bull said: “Arjowiggins is a vibrant and innovative creative paper company, and we can see a bright future as it is an attractive proposition for a potential buyer.

“Unite is committed to working with the administrators and the employers’ body, the Confederation of Paper Industries to find a new owner.

“We have had a good relationship with the company over many years and this is a good basis for exploring options for a new purchaser.

“The administrators being called in should be seen in the context of the parent company’s Sequana past legal problems. It is not related to Brexit uncertainty.

“However, we appreciate that this is a very difficult time for our members and their families and Unite will be giving them maximum support in the days and weeks ahead.”

Arjowiggins Fine Papers Limited has a turnover of £120 million and employs around 500 staff across the UK.

The joint administrators will continue trading all of the businesses whilst seeking a buyer and are urging interested parties to make contact as soon as possible to secure the future of the companies.

Joint administrator Iain Fraser, partner with FRP Advisory said: “The Stoneywood Mill in Aberdeen has a long tradition and reputation for producing fine and creative papers of the very highest quality for a global customer base.

“Unfortunately, the business has been severely affected by rising costs and difficult trading conditions, and the insolvency proceedings begun in France left the directors no option but to place the UK companies in administration.

“We will continue to trade the business whilst exploring all options for securing a future for the site.”