Swiss gift-wrapper goes bust before Christmas

2nd December 2008, Comments 0 comments

The decorative paper manufacture Stewo AG is forced to close after 148 years as tightened credit conditions resulted in cancelled loans.

2 December 2008

WOLHUSEN – Children around the world may be disappointed with their gift haul this Christmas because of the financial crisis. But for 123 employees of a Swiss company it's the lack of gift wrapping that will really hurt.

Decorative paper manufacturer Stewo AG said Tuesday it is packing up its 148-year-old business after deteriorating market conditions and a lack of available credit forced it to declare bankruptcy.

Stewo will lay off its entire staff of 123, it said in a statement released just after First Advent, the traditional start to the European Christmas shopping season, and Black Friday in the United States.

"We deeply regret that we have not found any other solution for our employees," said Alexander Pfeifer, chairman of Stewo, which makes boxes, gift wrapping and napkins.
The company said it would seek ways to soften the blow for former staff.

All of the company's loans were recently cancelled as a result of the sharp tightening in credit conditions, it said. Stewo's board had sought to sell the company but failed as potential buyers could not secure financing.

Stewo was rescued by a group of companies two years ago. It was able to return to profitability in 2007 and stayed in the black through the end of October.

[AP / Expatica]

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