In March, Graphic Packaging Holding Co. completed its combination of Graphic Packaging Corp. and Altivity Packaging, LLC. GPHC had 2007 pro-forma revenues of about $4.4 billion and will be a leading provider of paperboard packaging to the food beverage and consumer products industries. As a condition of the deal, the combined company will be required to divest Altivity's coated-recycled paperboard mills in Wabash, IN, and Philadelphia, PA. www.graphicpkg.com, www.altivity.com.
Also in March, International Paper agreed to purchase Weyerhaeuser's Containerboard, Packaging and Recycling (CBPR) business for $6 billion in cash, subject to post-closing adjustments. The deal should close in 3Q08, subject to customary closing conditions, including regulatory review and receipt of financing. Weyco will use much of the proceeds to pay down its debt. The transaction includes nine containerboard mills (totaling 6.3 million tons capacity), 72 packaging plants 99.4 billion sq ft capacity), 10 specialty packaging plants, four kraft bag and sack plants (199,000 tons capacity) and 19 recycling facilities. About 14,300 employees are affected. The mills to be transferred are: Pine Hill, AL; Oxnard, CA; Cedar Rapids, IA; Henderson, KY; Campti, LA; Valliant, OK; Albany and Springfield, OR; Xalapa, Mexico. www.internationalpaper.com.
Metso Paper and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) have agreed that MHI's paper machinery technology will be transferred to Metso Paper. The value of the deal was not disclosed. The transaction enhances Metso Paper's services business especially in Japan andwill ensure continuous technical support for MHI customers, saidMetso in a statement.Metso was to start serving the customers immediately after the agreement, announced in February, became effective. MHI was to attend to its present order backlog and Metso paper was to take over customer service after MHI contractual obligations had been fulfilled. www.metso.com.
Metso Paper will supply a papermaking line to the greenfield mill of Propapier GmbH & Co. KG in Germany. The line, producing up to 650,000 tonnes of liner and fluting grades of 70-130 g/m2 annually,will be situated in Eisenhttenstadt, near the Polish border, and will start up in late 2009. The total value of the order is about 200 million euros. Propapier is part of the Progroup, which offers products and services for the corrugated board processing industry. Propapier currently produces about 320,000 tonnes/year of testliner and corrugated medium.
MeadWestvaco Corporation has unveiled its new corporate identity as "MWV: How brands take shape". The company's new brand is designed to articulate in a unified voice its global packaging capabilities designed to protect and promote products, deliver supply chain efficiencies, meet sustainability promises and increase customers' marketplace competitiveness www.meadwestvaco.com.