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Thomas L. Lange (media), 314-746-1236

Smurfit-Stone to Sell Newberg Newsprint Mill to Southeast Paper Manufacturing Company for $220 Million

CHICAGO, September 23, 1999 -- Smurfit-Stone Container Corporation (Nasdaq: SSCC) announced that it has reached an agreement to sell its Newberg, OR, newsprint mill to Southeast Paper Manufacturing Company for approximately $220 million. The agreement, which is subject to certain conditions, including regulatory approvals, is expected to close during the fourth quarter.

The sale of the Newberg mill is part of Smurfit-Stone’s program to divest of non-core assets and focus on its paper-based packaging business. Proceeds from the sale will be used to reduce debt.

"With this transaction, the company has reached agreements to sell almost $1.8 billion in non-core assets," said Ray Curran, Smurfit-Stone president and chief executive officer. "We are currently ahead of our original divestiture timetable and expect to complete the $2 billion program well within our original 24-month time frame."

The Newberg mill produces approximately 370,000 metric tons per year of recycled-content newsprint and employs nearly 350 people.

Southeast Paper Manufacturing Company is a general partnership of three large U.S. newspaper publishers: Cox Enterprises, Inc.; Media General, Inc.; and Knight-Ridder, Inc.

Smurfit-Stone was advised by Deutsche Banc Alex Brown in this transaction.

Smurfit-Stone is the industry’s 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, which was formed November 18, 1998 as a result of the merger between Jefferson Smurfit Corporation and Stone Container Corporation, operates approximately 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.


© 1999 Smurfit-Stone Container Corporation

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