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Smurfit-Stone Curtails Missoula Mill Operation

MISSOULA, MT, December 13, 2000 -- Smurfit-Stone Container Corporation announced today that it will further curtail operation of its Missoula mill. Earlier this week the mill shut down one of its three paper machines due to market demand and high electrical costs. That curtailment did not result in any job reductions.

Due to prohibitive prices for the mill’s purchased electricity, the mill will be shutting down a second machine on Thursday, December 14, 2000. The shutdown of these two machines will curtail the mill’s productivity by about 50 percent for the remainder of December. The operating level of the mill for January will be determined later this month based primarily upon purchased electrical costs.

The additional curtailment of the mill will result in some workforce reductions although details of layoffs have not been developed. It is anticipated that approximately 150 employees will be affected.

Smurfit-Stone Container Corporation is the premier manufacturer of paper- and paperboard-based packaging. Smurfit-Stone holds industry-leading positions in the production of containerboard (including white-top linerboard and recycled medium), corrugated containers, industrial bags, and clay-coated 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 operates more than 300 facilities worldwide and employs approximately 40,000 people.