MeadWestvaco to Invest $480 Million for New Paperboard Machine in Brazil

Nov. 17, 2010 - MeadWestvaco (MWV) announced a significant investment to grow its corrugated packaging business in the attractive Brazilian market. MWV will expand operations at Rigesa the company’s Brazilian subsidiary, in order to meet growing customer demand for high-quality packaging solutions. The company will invest approximately $480 million to develop its existing facility located in Santa Catarina State, including the installation of a new, state-of-the-art paperboard machine that will double the capacity of its Tręs Barras mill.

“The strategic decision to expand our Rigesa business signifies our strong commitment to continued growth and market leadership in Brazil,” said John A. Luke, Jr., chairman and CEO of MWV.

“Our experience, knowledge-base and existing infrastructure in Brazil — along with the country’s emergence as an economic powerhouse — make further investment in our business there very logical and attractive."

With this growth initiative, MWV significantly strengthens its Rigesa operations as a fully integrated packaging solutions company. Rigesa will further leverage its sustainable forestry, mill and converting operations as well as consumer insights, design and engineering, to produce specialized corrugated packaging solutions for high growth markets in South America.

Construction and installation of the new machine is expected to be complete in mid-2012.

The new machine will produce 300,000 metric tons per year of kraft linerboard for use in the company’s packaging converting operations throughout Brazil.

The investment will be funded through a combination of internal and external sources. When the mill is fully operational, the company expects to employ approximately 800 people.

MWV has served the Brazilian market with Rigesa since 1953 and currently employs over 2,500 people in Brazil.

SOURCE: MeadWestvaco