Investors: Tim McKenna, 314-746-1254
Media: Tom Lange, 314-746-1236
Florida Coast Paper Company, L.L.C. Files Chapter 11 Bankruptcy Petition; Obligations are Non-Recourse to Smurfit-Stone Container Corporation
CHICAGO, April 5, 1999 Smurfit-Stone Container Corporation (Nasdaq: SSCC) and its wholly-owned subsidiary, Stone Container Corporation, announced that Florida Coast Paper Company, L.L.C., which owns an idled linerboard mill in Port St. Joe, FL, has filed a Chapter 11 bankruptcy petition in United States Bankruptcy Court in Wilmington, DE.
Florida Coast and the three related entities that were also part of the filing are 50-percent owned by Stone. All of the obligations of Florida Coast and the related entities are non-recourse to Stone, and the Florida Coast bankruptcy has no effect on any of the indebtedness of Stone or any other subsidiaries of Smurfit-Stone Container Corporation.
Stone is a party to an Output Purchase Agreement with Florida Coast, which provides for Stone to purchase one-half of the linerboard produced at the Florida Coast mill. Certain creditors of Florida Coast have alleged Stone is in default of the Output Purchase Agreement and Stone believes it is likely that such creditors may seek to initiate litigation against Stone with respect to the Agreement.
Smurfit-Stone is the industry's leading manufacturer of paper-based packaging, including corrugated containers, folding cartons, industrial bags and other consumer and industrial packaging. It is the largest producer of containerboard, boxboard and kraft paper, and the largest collector, marketer, and exporter of recovered fiber. The company operates approximately 300 Florida Coastfacilities worldwide. Smurfit-Stone Container Corporation was formed November 18, 1998 as a result of the merger of Jefferson Smurfit Corporation and Stone Container Corporation.
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.