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Weyerhaeuser sells Albany mill

Weyerhaeuser sells Albany mill

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Weyerhaeuser has agreed to sell the Albany Paper Mill along with eight other containerboard mills, 82 packaging plants and 19 recycling locations to International Paper for $6 billion.

The sale is expected to be completed in the second half of the year, Weyerhaeuser spokesman Greg Miller said this morning. International Paper expects to realize a tax benefit of about $1.4 billion, making the net transaction about $4.6 billion. The company believes it can realize more than $400 million in additional profits through the acquisition.

Miller said the Albany Paper Mill has about 285 employees.

"We believe that substantially, all of the current employees will be offered a job with International Paper," Miller said. "International Paper is excited about the opportunity this purchase offers them. They have wanted to increase their presence on the West Coast."

Spokespersons for International Paper were not available for comment. Neither was Albany mill manager Jeff Yoder.

The sale will affect 14,300 employees and includes a containerboard plant in Springfield. Other containerboard plants are in Alabama, California, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Oklahoma and Mexico. In total, they have a capacity of 6.3 million tons per year.

Weyerhaeuser and International Paper will continue to operate separately until the transaction closes.

In 2007, Weyerhaeuser had total sales of $16.3 billion and had offices or operations in 13 countries.

In 2006, International Paper had sales of $22 billion and was ranked No. 82 among Fortune 500 companies. It was ranked first in the forest products sector for the fourth consecutive year on Fortune magazine's list of "most admired companies."

In the United States, International Paper has 18 pulp, paper and packaging mills, 94 converting and packaging plants and five wood products facilities. It also has extensive operations in Europe, Asia and Latin America. Its U.S. corporate headquarters are in Memphis, Tenn.

The Albany mill - in Millersburg - celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2005, when it had about 315 employees. Western Kraft opened the mill in September 1955 with 115 employees.

Weyerhaeuser plans to use the cash from the sale to pay down debt.


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