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Copyright © 2000 Smurfit-Stone Container Corporation
Smurfit-Stone Signs Agreement To Sell Port Wentworth
CHICAGO, April 18, 2000 -- Smurfit-Stone Container Corporation (Nasdaq: SSCC) announced today that it has entered into an agreement to sell the market pulp mill at its shuttered Port Wentworth, GA, mill site to Willamette Industries, Inc.
The sale does not include the linerboard production or recycled fiber pulping assets at the Port Wentworth site. As part of the agreement, Smurfit-Stone will dismantle and remove these assets over a period of up to three years. The closing of the sale is expected to occur later this quarter. Proceeds from the sale will be used for debt reduction.
The Port Wentworth mill has been idle since 1998, when Smurfit-Stone shut the facility as part of its program of restructuring of its containerboard mill system. The sale of the pulp facility is part of its ongoing effort to divest of non-core assets. Including the pulp mill sale, the divestiture program has raised $1.9 billion for debt reduction.
Smurfit-Stone is the industry's leading manufacturer of paper and paperboard-based packaging, including containerboard, corrugated containers, bag packaging, and claycoated recycled boxboard; and is the world's largest paper recycler. In addition, Smurfit-Stone is a leading producer of folding cartons, solid bleached sulfate, paper tubes and cores, and labels. The company employs approximately 35,000 people and operates about 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 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.