PaperAge Magazine

International Paper to Acquire Weyerhaeuser's Pulp Business for $2.2 Billion

Pulp mill in New Bern, North Carolina Under terms of the agreement, IP will acquire five pulp mills and two converting facilities that produce fluff pulp, softwood pulp, and specialty pulp, including the New Bern pulp mill in North Carolina (pictured above).

May 2, 2016 - International Paper announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement to purchase Weyerhaeuser's pulp business. Under terms of the agreement, IP will acquire five pulp mills and two converting facilities that produce fluff pulp, softwood pulp, and specialty pulp for a number of consumer applications including diapers, other hygiene products, tissue, and textiles.

Because the transaction is a purchase of assets, International Paper expects to realize a tax benefit with an estimated net present value of approximately $300 million. Including this benefit, the net price is approximately $1.9 billion. International Paper forecasts annual synergies of approximately $175 million by the end of 2018, which will require the need for one-time costs of approximately $85 million.

"Weyerhaeuser's pulp business has an outstanding customer base served from low-cost, well-run assets that complement our existing system and offers significant synergy opportunities," said International Paper Chairman and CEO Mark Sutton. "This transaction will position us as the premier global supplier of fluff pulp and will enhance our ability to generate additional free cash flow. We look forward to working with the talented employees of Weyerhaeuser as we integrate our businesses and create an even stronger company."

Weyerhaeuser's pulp business has approximately 1900 employees throughout the U.S. (Mississippi, Georgia, North Carolina), Canada and Poland. The combined business will provide the company flexibility to manage a wide portfolio of products to meet customer needs.

The acquisition is expected to close in the 4th quarter of 2016, subject to certain closing conditions, primarily the receipt of regulatory approval.

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 along with uncoated papers and pulp. To learn more, please visit: internationalpaper.com.

SOURCE: International Paper