WeyerhaeuserCo. has reached an agreement to sell its cellulose fibers pulpmills to International Paper for $2.2 billion in cash.
The company will put the bulk of an estimated $1.6 billion inafter-tax proceeds from the sale toward the repayment of used in its $2.5 billionshare-repurchaseprogram.
The properties include five pulp mills, located in Columbus,Miss.; Flint River, Ga.; New Bern, N.C.; Port Wentworth, Ga.; and GrandePrairie, Alberta. The mills have a combined total capacity of nearly 1.9million metric tons. The sale also includes two modified-fiber mills inColumbus, Miss., and Gdansk, Poland.
The deal, which is expected to close in the fourth quarter,completes the first phase of the company's strategic of its cellulose-fibers business.It does not include the company's liquid-packaging board facility or newsprintand publishing papers joint venture. Weyerhaeuser's review of those assets isongoing.
The Weyerhaeuser pulp business and International Paper willcontinue to operate separately until the transaction closes.
Morgan Stanley & Co. LLC served as Weyerhaeuser'sfinancial adviser.