IP successful in bid to purchase Champion

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, May 31, 2000

International Paper reached a definitive merger agreement with Champion International after UPM-Kymmene withdrew from the bidding. IP will purchase Champion for $75 per share in cash and stock.

"We're very pleased that the Champion Board of Directors has accepted our offer," commented International Paper Chairman and Chief Executive Officer John Dillon. "We're looking forward to bringing Champion's outstanding people and communities into the International Paper family."

"We've said all along that bringing together International Paper and Champion makes good sense because of the tremendous opportunites presented by a combined organization," said Dillon. "Our offer is consistant with what we said two weeks ago

we wanted a deal that creates value for International Paper shareowners and for Champion shareowners."

International Paper's offer is valued at approximately $7.3 billion, excluding $2.3 billion in net debt. The total purchase price would be paid with $50 in cash and $25 in stock.

IP will commence an exchange offer next week and close the transaction, subject to regulatory approvals, in June.

International Paper is the world's largest paper and forest products company. Businesses include printing papers, packaging, building materials, chemical products and distribution.

As the world's largest private landowner in the U.S., the company manages its forest under the principles of the Sustainable Forestry Initiative program, a system that ensures the perpetual growing and harvesting of trees while protecting wildlife, plants, soil, air and water quality.

Headquartered in the United States at Purchase, N.Y., International Paper has operations in nearly 50 countries, employs nearly 100,000 people and exports its products to more than 130 nations.