IP to Sell Fine Papers Business to Mohawk
STAMFORD, Conn. - Dec. 15, 2004—International Paper (NYSE: IP) today announced it has signed a non-binding letter of intent to sell its Fine Papers Business to Mohawk Paper Mills Inc. of Cohoes, N.Y.
The Fine Papers Business includes the writing, text and covers papers and artist papers segments. The transaction is subject to approval by the International Paper board of directors as well as completion of due diligence and financing arranged by Mohawk. International Paper and Mohawk expect to complete the transaction during the first quarter of 2005, subject to various conditions and regulatory approvals. Terms of the transaction are not yet finalized.
Included in this transaction will be the Hamilton, Ohio, paper mill, the Saybrook, Ohio, converting center, and the Westfield, Mass., Artist Papers converting operation. The sale will also include the Strathmore, Brite Hue, Via and Beckett brands.
"The Fine Papers Business has a long, proud history of producing and marketing premium papers," said Greg Gibson, vice president and general manager, Commercial Printing & Imaging Papers. "Although it's a good business run by many dedicated employees, it is a relatively small segment of our uncoated paper business, and the decision to sell it is consistent with the choices we are making to improve our portfolio and profitability. This sale will allow IP to intensify our focus on our primary product segments, and the Fine Papers Business will be a good fit with Mohawk's strong portfolio of fine paper brands."
The Fine Papers Business produces approximately 65,000 tons per year of Strathmore, Beckett, Via and Brite Hue brands. The business employs approximately 500 people.