Timothy McKenna (investors),
312-580-4637 / 314-746-1254
Tom Lange (media), 314-746-1236

Smurfit-Stone Announces Early Termination Of Hart-Scott-Rodino Waiting Period Granted By FTC

CHICAGO, April 4, 2000 – Smurfit-Stone Container Corporation (Nasdaq: SSCC) announced today that the Federal Trade Commission has granted early termination of the waiting period with respect to its filing under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act in connection with its pending acquisition of St. Laurent Paperboard Inc. (TSE: SPI; NYSE: SLW). The transaction remains subject to the approval of St. Laurent stockholders, who are scheduled to vote at a special meeting tentatively set for late May. Assuming that the Canadian regulatory approvals are in place by that time, Smurfit-Stone plans to close the transaction shortly following the St. Laurent stockholder meeting, if the required stockholder vote is obtained.

Smurfit-Stone announced February 23 it had agreed to acquire St. Laurent for about US$1.4 billion (CAN $2.04 billion) consisting of approximately US$625 million (CAN $913 million) in cash, Smurfit-Stone common stock, and the assumption of St. Laurent's debt.

Smurfit-Stone, which was created by the November 1998 merger of Jefferson Smurfit Corporation and Stone Container Corporation, is the industry’s leading manufacturer of paper and paperboard-based packaging, including containerboard, corrugated containers, industrial bags, and claycoated recycled boxboard; and is the world’s largest paper recycler. In addition, Smurfit-Stone is a leading producer of solid bleached sulfate, folding cartons, paper tubes and cores, and labels. Net sales in 1999 were US$7.2 billion (CAN$10.5 billion). The company employs approximately 35,000 and operates about 300 facilities worldwide.

St. Laurent Paperboard is a leading North American producer, supplier and converter of high quality, value-added specialty containerboard and high impact graphics packaging, with more than 4,500 employees serving a diverse customer base in North America and selected international markets. Formed in 1994, the company had sales of US$916 million (CAN$1.34 billion) in 1999. In addition to its four mills and 16 packaging plants, the company owns solid wood products operations, and approximately 920,000 acres of forestland in Quebec.

This document contains certain forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 21 E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended, about Smurfit-Stone Container Corporation. Although the company believes that, in making any such statements, its expectations are based on reasonable assumptions, any such statement may be influenced by factors that could cause actual outcomes and results to be materially different from those projected. When used in this document, the words "anticipates," "believes," "expects," "intends," and similar expressions as they relate to Smurfit-Stone Container Corporation or its management are intended to identify such forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements are subject to numerous risks and uncertainties. Important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those in forward-looking statements, certain of which are beyond the control of Smurfit-Stone Container Corporation, include: the impact of general economic conditions in the U.S. and Canada and in other countries in which Smurfit-Stone Container Corporation and its subsidiaries currently do business (including Asia, Europe and Latin and South America); industry conditions, including competition and product and raw material prices; fluctuations in exchange rates and currency values; capital expenditure requirements; legislative or regulatory requirements, particularly concerning environmental matters; interest rates; access to capital markets; the timing of and value received in connection with asset divestitures; and obtaining required approvals, if any, of debt holders. The actual results, performance or achievement by Smurfit-Stone Container Corporation could differ materially from those expressed in, or implied by, these forward-looking statements and, accordingly, no assurances can be given that any of the events anticipated by the forward-looking statements will transpire or occur, or if any of them do so, what impact they will have on the results of operations and financial condition of Smurfit-Stone Container Corporation.

© 2000 Smurfit-Stone Container Corporation

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