MeadWestvaco Announces Plans to Optimize Operations
Friday, October 11, 2002
In Luke, Maryland, and Chillicothe, Ohio, Plants STAMFORD, CONN. - October 10, 2002 - MeadWestvaco Corporation (NYSE: MWV) today announced plans to permanently shut down during 2003 eight sheeting machines used to convert rolls of paper into sheets at its Luke, Maryland, paper manufacturing facility. The company also announced plans to expand sheeting capacity at its Chillicothe, Ohio, operations. "Consolidating MeadWestvaco's sheeting operations is consistent with our merger integration objectives - to provide excellent customer service with controlled costs and increased efficiency," said Ian W. Millar, president of MeadWestvaco Papers Group. Shutting down the eight paper sheeting machines at the Luke mill will eliminate approximately 150 positions there. The Luke mill will continue to perform a limited amount of sheeting. MeadWestvaco will incur an incremental pre-tax charge of approximately $6 million that is expected to be recorded over the next year, starting in the fourth quarter of 2002. The charge is associated with employee restructuring payments, acceleration of depreciation, and other closure-related expenses. The company also announced plans to install a new sheeting machine in its Chillicothe converting center. This and other changes at Chillicothe are expected to require the addition of approximately 50 employees. MeadWestvaco's Papers Group produces coated papers for catalogs, annual reports, magazines, text books and coffee table books; carbonless papers for business forms and receipts; digital papers for commercial and desktop printing; and labels for food and beverages. MeadWestvaco Corporation, headquartered in Stamford, Conn., has annual sales of $8 billion and is a leading global producer of packaging, coated and specialty papers, consumer and office products and specialty chemicals. The company operates in 33 countries, serves customers in approximately 100 nations and employs more than 30,000 people worldwide. Using sustainable forestry practices, MeadWestvaco manages 3.4 million acres of forests. For more information about MeadWestvaco, visit the company's Web site, www.meadwestvaco.com.