An Atlanta-based company has obtained a majority share of International Paper’s consumer packaging business but the fate of IP’s Augusta plant that is part of the transaction remained unclear Tuesday evening.
Graphic Packaging Holding Co., will be the sole operator of the joint venture with a 79.5 percent ownership interest. International Paper retains a 20.5 percent ownership interest, valued at $1.14 billion, according to a press release from Graphic Packaging. The transaction value is listed at $1.8 billion and the new company was expected to have revenues of $6 billion, according to a press release from Graphic Packaging.
An International Paper spokesman said that the company would not say anything outside of its own press release issued Tuesday, which does not address the Augusta plant’s fate. The Graphic Packaging release says the plant in Augusta and one in Texarkana, Texas, are part of the deal. A call and an email to Graphic Packaging were not immediately returned. Both plants produce solid bleached sulfate paperboard and paper-based food service products with annual production capacity of 1.2 million tons.
International Paper officials in their press release said they plan to use $660 million in cash proceeds from a loan being assumed by Graphic Packaging to pay down existing debt. The deal is expected to close in early 2018, subject to the receipt of regulatory approval and certain other closing conditions.
International Paper’s stock price was up slightly on Tuesday, closing at $58.67, up 42 cents, or 0.72 percent, from the opening price.
Graphic Packagingis headquartered in Atlanta. The company’s customers include many of the world’s most widely recognized companies and brands.