MEMPHIS, Tenn., Oct. 22 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ --
International Paper (NYSE: IP) today announced plans to close its paper mill and associated operations in Franklin, Va., and its containerboard mills in Pineville, La., and Albany,
Ore. The company also announced it would permanently shut down the previously
idled No. 3 machine at its Valliant, Okla., containerboard mill. The Valliant
Mill's other two machines will continue to operate. These permanent shutdowns
will reduce the company's North American paper and board capacity by 2.1
"We recognize these are very difficult decisions affecting our employees,
their families and the communities surrounding these mills," said Chairman and
CEO John Faraci. "We have concluded that we have excess capacity in our North
American paper and packaging businesses, and these decisions will better match
our supply with our expected customer demand."
Since the onset of the global recession, the decline in demand for
International Paper's uncoated freesheet in North America has accelerated, and
consequently the company has decided to further reduce its uncoated freesheet
In its containerboard and coated paperboard businesses, International Paper
expects demand to resume growth as the economy rebounds. However, the
company's demand is not expected to return to 2008 levels in the near future.
Therefore, permanent IP capacity closures are necessary.
The closures, which will impact about 1,600 employees, will result in
permanent North American capacity reductions.
Following these permanent shutdowns, International Paper will have
approximately 10 million tons of North American containerboard capacity, 2.6
million tons of North American uncoated freesheet production capacity, and 1.7
million tons of North American coated paperboard capacity. These capacity
shutdowns will not impact the company's ability to serve its customers.
International Paper is committed to helping employees through this transition.
The company will work closely with union officials concerning severance
benefits for hourly employees. Salaried employees impacted by these shutdowns
will be offered severance packages and outplacement assistance consistent with
company policy. Employee assistance providers will be available to support
employee and family needs.
The company estimates that these closures will result in noncash asset
write-off and accelerated depreciation charges of approximately $1.1 billion
and cash severance charges of approximately $60 million to be recorded in the
fourth quarter of 2009 and first quarter of 2010, plus additional closure
costs to be determined and recorded as the facilities are closed.
About International Paper
International Paper (NYSE: IP) is a global paper and packaging company with
manufacturing operations in North America, Europe, Latin America, Russia, Asia
and North Africa. Its businesses include uncoated papers and industrial and
consumer packaging, complemented by xpedx, the company's North American
distribution company. Headquartered in Memphis, Tenn., the company employs
more than 58,000 people in more than 20 countries and serves customers
worldwide. 2008 net sales were approximately $25 billion. For more information
about International Paper, its products and stewardship efforts, visit
This press release may contain forward-looking statements. These statements
reflect management's current views and are subject to risks and uncertainties
that could cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed or
implied in these statements. Factors which could cause actual results to
differ include changes in business conditions which could affect the timing of
the mill closure process. We undertake no obligation to publicly update any
forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future
events or otherwise. Other factors that could cause or contribute to actual
results differing materially from such forward looking statements are
discussed in greater detail in the company's Securities and Exchange
SOURCE International Paper
Posted on Thu, October 22, 2009