Saxmundham packaging firm Tenza axes 90% of staff in ‘shock’ jobs cull

Redundancies as Saxmundham packaging firm enters administration

Redundancies as Saxmundham packaging firm enters administration - Credit: Archant

More than 70 people have been left jobless six weeks before Christmas after a major Suffolk employer fell into administration.

A local business leader said redundancies made at Saxmundham firm Tenza Technologies could have a “devastating” effect on the families of workers informed only last Thursday that the business was in the hands of administrators.

One former employee said staff had been aware for several weeks that “things were in trouble” at the packaging company, which manufacturers self-adhesive and speciality packaging, including pre-formed ‘Stand Up Pouches’, but that the lay-offs had come as a shock.

Tenza was founded in the 1960s as an embossing tape manufacturer and grew to become one of the world’s leading manufacturers of self adhesive paper and filmic products with distributors throughout Europe.

In 2005, it was taken over by the Tri Q Group, before Cheltenham-based Co-Spec acquired the company in 2013 as part of a management buyout, along with its sister company Advanced Coated Products (ACP).

Finance advisors Duff & Phelps have been appointed administrators and are said to be in talks with interested parties as Tenza continues to trade on a limited basis.

A former employee, who wished to remain anonymous, said: “We’d known for several weeks that things were in trouble but last Thursday we were called in to be given the news.

Most Read

“The workforce had shrunk to about 80 recently but now they are left with eight staff – a couple of production workers, managers and people to answer the phone.

“Some of us thought it was coming. A lot of people have been there for 30 to 35 years. It’s a shock for them.

“In the last 10 years there has been a lack of investment in the face of pressure from the Far East. Things must have just spiralled down. We were asked to take a voluntary 10% pay cut 15 months ago.”

Ken Howe, town councillor and chairman of Businesses of Saxmundham, said: “It’s devastating, and made doubly worse at this time of year.

“We don’t know exactly how many people are affected in Saxmundham but there could be up to 70 families in the local area that have lost income for Christmas.

“This is a major employer we will no longer have. I understand moves are afoot to find a buyer for the business but until then they are operating with a skeleton staff.”

A statement made on behalf of Tenza said: “Jason Godefroy and John Whitfield, managing directors of Duff & Phelps, the premier global valuation and corporate finance advisor, were appointed joint administrators to Tenza Technologies Limited on November 6.

“The company, based in Saxmundham, Suffolk, is continuing to trade on a limited basis whilst the joint administrators are in talks with interested parties. As a result of the administration the majority of employees have been made redundant, with eight employees retained.”