Trade and financial journalists who attended a press conference called on March 2 at the Paris Premiere Vision exhibition in the hope of securing a definitive statement about the future of Tencel from Acordis chief executive Mark Lejman were doomed to disappointment.

The conference did indeed take place but with negotiations in Brussels still in progress to resolve the question of whether the proposed merger, which would bring together the fibres division of Lenzing AG and Acordis as one new company, contravenes EU monopolies regulations, Mr Lejman felt himself unable to make any pronouncement. Earlier this year Bank Austria agreed to sell 80 per cent of its shares in Lenzing to CVC Capital Partners which already controls Acordis.

However Mark Lejman did use the conference to announce his satisfaction that last year Acordis delivered its 200,000th ton of Tencel and its 10,000th ton of Tencel A100 to textile industry customers.

"Our fibre is obviously becoming a key component in the manufacture of a very wide range of fabrics and as a result we are now ready to seek new horizons," he commented, directing his audience's particular attention to the latest developments in introducing Tencel to denim type fabrics.

By Sonia Roberts