IP will also receive a 20.5% ownership interest valued at $1.14 billion in a subsidiary of Graphic Packaging that will hold the assets for the combined business. The transaction is expected to close in early 2018, subject to the receipt of regulatory approval and certain other closing conditions.
"After evaluating a range of strategic options, we believe this transaction represents excellent value for IP's shareholders," says International Paper chairman and CEO Mark Sutton. "Investing in Graphic Packaging gives IP the opportunity to benefit from a much stronger value-creation consumer packaging platform while allowing us to remain focused on growing value in our core businesses. Our North America Consumer Packaging business has a talented team, very good assets and great customers, and I am confident of the results the combined business will achieve."
International Paper will discuss this transaction during its scheduled quarterly earnings call on October 25, 2017 beginning at 10 am ET (9 am CT).
Citigroup served as financial advisor to International Paper, and Evercore Partners rendered a fairness opinion. Debevoise & Plimpton LLP served as International Paper's legal counsel.
The transaction includes 3,900 Coated Paperboard and Food service employees located at 10 locations in the United States and United Kingdom.