Smurfit-Stone to Sell Industrial Packaging to Caraustar for $80 MIL

CHICAGO, IL, USA—Smurfit-Stone Container Corp. announced July 22, 2002, that Jefferson Smurfit Corp., its wholly owned subsidiary, has entered into an agreement to sell the company's industrial packaging operations to Caraustar Industries, Inc. The sale includes 17 tube and core manufacturing facilities, 3 fiber partition plants, and 3 uncoated recycled boxboard mill operations, which are part of Smurfit-Stone's Consumer Packaging div. The sales does not include the company's interest in Dalton Paper Products, Inc., which operates a tube facility in Dalton, GA. Smurfit-Stone will receive approximately $80 million in cash from the sale and will retain approximately $12 million in receivables from the business. The sale is expected to be completed in August.

According to Smurfit-Stone, the sale of the industrial packaging operations is consistent with the company's strategy to focus on containerboard, corrugated containers, and consumer packaging. The company's consumer packaging businesses offer a variety of products, including folding cartons, multiwall bags, flexible packaging products, and labels.

Says Patrick J. Moore, Smurfit president/CEO: "The decision to sell our industrial packaging operations was made under careful review of the business and its growth potential within our system. We considered numerous factors, including strategic fit and other alternatives available to Smurfit-Stone." He adds, "The industrial packaging operations fit well with Caraustar's strategic business plan and will complement their existing product offerings. The transaction should be beneficial for Smurfit-Stone, our employees and shareholds, and Caraustar." According to the co., Smurfit-Stone's industrial packaging operations employ approximately 700 hourly and 150 salaried employees.

More information about Smurfit-Stone is available at Visit Caraustar at

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