Investors: Timothy McKenna (investors), 312-580-4637 or 314-746-1254
Media: Tom Lange (media), 314-746-1236
Smurfit-Stone to Sell 7.8 Million Shares of Abitibi-Consolidated for $80 Million
CHICAGO, January 21, 1999 - Smurfit-Stone Container Corporation (Nasdaq: SSCC) announced that it has entered into an agreement to sell 7.8 million shares of Abitibi-Consolidated, Inc. to an institutional investor in a privately negotiated transaction. The company has agreed to sell the shares at a price of $10.25 each and expects to complete the transaction this week. The sale will yield net cash proceeds of about $80 million, which will be applied to debt reduction.
Smurfit-Stone previously announced its intention to sell its holdings in Abitibi-Consolidated as part of its plan to reduce debt and concentrate on its core packaging business. The sale reduces Smurfit-Stones stake in Abitibi-Consolidated to about 41 million shares or approximately 21.5 percent. Consistent with its strategic plan, Smurfit-Stone continues to seek appropriate value for the remaining shares as well as other non-core holdings.
Smurfit-Stone is the industrys leading manufacturer of paper and paperboard based packaging, including corrugated containers, folding cartons, and industrial bags. It is the largest producer of containerboard and kraft paper, and the largest collector, marketer, and exporter of recovered fiber. The company operates more than 300 facilities worldwide.
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 the companies and their 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.