IP shifts strategy as Canadian unit sold off

International Paper (IP) has agreed to sell its Canadian pulp and wood business and is also considering strategic options for its industrial specialty papers business.

IP is selling Weldwood of Canada to West Fraser Timber for C$1.26 billion ($960 million). The all-cash transaction is expected to be completed in the autumn subject to various closing conditions.

CEO John Faraci said: "This decision, along with the sale of Carter Holt Harvey’s tissue business and the purchase of the Box USA corrugated packaging business, reflect choices we believe will improve the focus of our portfolio, build stronger businesses and improve our future profitability."

IP is also looking at options for its industrial specialty papers business with the process including its DePere and Kaukauna, Wisconsin, Mills, the Akrosil business with facilities in Menasha, Wisconsin, Lancaster, Ohio, and Heerlen, Netherlands and Thilmany Packaging located at the Kaukauna Mill.

The company intends to evaluate these facilities as one business and will continue to operate these facilities during the evaluation process to provide ongoing service to customers.

Industrial packaging group SVP Wayne Brafford said: "While this is a tough decision, this could help us to better focus our asset portfolio on growth areas."

Stamford (CT)