International Paper to Buy Remaining Stake in CMPC

July 12, 2007 - International Paper today said that it has signed an agreement with Cofipac to purchase the remaining shares of its joint venture Compagnie Marocaine des Cartons et des Papiers (CMCP) in Morocco for approximately US$40 million. As a result, CMCP will be wholly owned by International Paper.

IP expects the deal to close before the end of the third quarter.

In October 2005, IP acquired approximately 65 percent of CMCP shares to further grow its corrugated box business and to strengthen its position in the fruit and vegetable segment in the Mediterranean region.

According to IP, Morocco remains an attractive market, and the company intends to continue investing in its packaging business there. "CMCP is a strong business with good prospects for the future in both industrial and fruit and vegetable segments," said Paul Brown, vice president of International Paper's European corrugated container business.

"Morocco has a fast-growing economy with a rapidly developing consumer base that is expected to drive box demand growth. In addition, Morocco is a leading exporter of fresh fruit and vegetable products to European markets, and I am pleased to say that a large portion of the fruits and vegetables exported from Morocco to Europe are packaged in International Paper corrugated containers," Brown said.

Aziz Qadiri and Hicham Qadiri will retire from their general management roles at CMCP upon closing. They will assume advisory roles to the new management team and also serve on CMCP's board of directors. A new managing director will also be appointed at that time, IP said.

CMCP has approximately 1,500 employees and operates four box plants and one recycled containerboard mill in Morocco. CMCP produces corrugated packaging materials for the industrial and agricultural markets. In 2006, CMCP had sales of approximately US$145 million.

SOURCE: International Paper

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