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Smurfit-Stone Announces Completion of Florida Coast Paper Company, L.L.C. Bankruptcy Reorganization

CHICAGO, January 20, 2000 -- Smurfit-Stone Container Corporation (Nasdaq: SSCC) today announced the completion of the bankruptcy reorganization of Florida Coast Paper Company, L.L.C., a joint venture owned 50 percent each by Stone Container Corporation, a subsidiary of Smurfit-Stone, and Four M Corporation. As part of the plan, Stone paid approximately $123 million into a trust fund to satisfy the claims of all creditors and pay expenses.

Florida Coast transferred to Stone all of its assets, consisting primarily of a 500,000-ton-per-year kraft linerboard mill in Port St. Joe, FL. All Florida Coast-related claims have been released and discharged against Florida Coast, Stone, Four M and their officers, directors and affiliates.

Smurfit-Stone will not re-start the Port St. Joe mill, which has been idle since August 1998. Commenting on the completion of the Florida Coast reorganization, Ray Curran, Smurfit-Stone president and chief executive officer, said, "We believe that the reorganization is an equitable result for both the Florida Coast creditors and the joint venture partners. We deeply regret the losses and hardship the entire situation caused for the community and all those associated with the Port St. Joe mill."

As previously disclosed, Smurfit-Stone has accounted for the Florida Coast reorganization plan under purchase accounting relating to the 1998 merger of Stone with Jefferson Smurfit Corporation. Florida Coast filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in Delaware in April 1999, and filed a plan of reorganization along with a committee representing the holders of the 12 _ percent First Mortgage Notes in October 1999 that was confirmed by an order of the court on January 6, 2000.


Smurfit-Stone Container Corporation was formed on November 18, 1998 as a result of the merger of Jefferson Smurfit Corporation and Stone Container Corporation. The company 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. The company operates about 300 facilities worldwide and employs approximately 35,000.