International Paper Announces Closure of its Courtland, Ala. Paper Mill
Permanent Closure to Reduce IP's North American Uncoated Freesheet Production
MEMPHIS, Tenn., Sept. 11, 2013
MEMPHIS, Tenn., Sept. 11, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- International Paper (NYSE: IP)
today announced plans to permanently close its Courtland, Ala. Mill, a
facility that is part of the company's Printing and Communications Papers
Business. The mill will shut down in stages with a full closure expected to
be complete by the end of the first quarter of 2014. This mill closure will
reduce IP's North American uncoated and coated freesheet paper production
capacity by 950,000 tons, of which 765,000 is uncoated freesheet.
"These decisions are especially difficult because of the impact to
long-serving and hard-working employees, their families and the surrounding
communities," said International Paper Chairman and CEO, John Faraci. "This
decision to permanently close capacity is primarily being driven by demand
decline for uncoated freesheet paper products in the United States."
The Courtland Mill produces papers for forms, envelopes, labels, copiers,
printers and magazines. The demand for uncoated freesheet in North America
has been in decline since 1999 and has recently accelerated as consumers
continue to switch to electronic alternatives such as online publications and
electronic billing and filing.
International Paper is committed to helping the 1,100 employees impacted by
the closure. The company will work closely with union officials concerning
benefits and other assistance programs for impacted hourly employees.
Salaried employees impacted by these machine shutdowns will be eligible for
severance packages and outplacement assistance consistent with company
policy. Employee assistance providers will be available to support employee
and family needs.
"We explored numerous business and re-purposing options for the Courtland
Mill, but concluded that permanently closing the mill best positions the
business for the future," said Printing and Communications Papers Senior
Vice-President Tim Nicholls.
International Paper's Printing and Communications Papers Business will consist
of four paper mills focused on uncoated freesheet, bristols and specialty
oTwo uncoated freesheet paper mills, Eastover, S.C.and Riverdale, Ala.
oTwo specialty paper mills, Georgetown, S.C. and Ticonderoga, N.Y.
The company's fluff pulp business is not impacted by this announcement.
"IP's Printing Papers business remains a valuable and strategic part of IP.
Our manufacturing, commercial and supply chain capabilities are strong, as is
our commitment to serving the North American uncoated freesheet market,"
The company estimates that the mill closure will result in pre-tax noncash
asset write-off and accelerated depreciation charges of approximately $550
million and pre-tax cash severance and other shutdown charges of approximately
$125 million to be recorded during the remainder of 2013 and in 2014.
About International Paper
International Paper (NYSE: IP) is a global leader in packaging and paper with
manufacturing operations in North America, Europe, Latin America, Russia, Asia
and North Africa. Its businesses include industrial and consumer packaging and
uncoated papers, complemented by xpedx, the company's North American
distribution company. Headquartered in Memphis, Tenn., the company employs
approximately 70,000 people and is strategically located in more than 24
countries serving customers worldwide. International Paper net sales for 2012
were $28 billion. For more information about International Paper, its products
and stewardship efforts, visit internationalpaper.com.
Certain statements in this press release may be considered 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 but are not limited to industry,
global economic and other conditions that could affect the timing of the mill
closure process. These and 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
Commission filings. We undertake no obligation to publicly update any
forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future
events or otherwise.
SOURCE International Paper
Contact: Media: Thomas J. Ryan, 901-419-4333; Investors: Jay Royalty,
901-419-1731 and Michele Vargas, 901-419-7287
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