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International Paper Announces $2 Billion Share Repurchase Program; Decreases Cash Dividend 9.8% to $1.85 per Share Annually

Press release from the issuing company

MEMPHIS, Tenn. – International Paper today announced its board of directors has authorized a share repurchase program to acquire up to $2 billion of the company's common stock. The new authorization is in addition to $1.3 billion remaining as of the end of the third quarter from a previous repurchase authorization. During the third quarter the company repurchased approximately $212 million in common stock at an average price of $59.13 per share. The company intends to continue repurchasing such shares in open market transactions. The company's board of directors also decreased the quarterly common stock dividend by $0.05 per share or 9.8%, which brings the per share dividend to $1.85 annually.

"Returning cash to shareowners through dividends and share repurchases is a meaningful part of our capital allocation framework," said Mark Sutton, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. "Today's announcement reflects our confidence in International Paper's long-term outlook and strong free cash flow generation. We are committed to a competitive and sustainable dividend of 40 to 50% of free cash flow. The dividend adjustment we are making is consistent with our dividend policy and is well below the 15 to 20% adjustment we anticipated when we announced the spin-off of our printing papers business late last year. Additionally, share repurchases will continue to complement dividends with a consistent and thoughtful cadence that's underpinned by a commitment to maximize value creation."

The dividend is being decreased by 9.8% from $0.5125 to $0.4625 per share for the period from October 1, 2021, to December 31, 2021, inclusive, on the company's common stock, par value $1.00. This dividend is payable on December 15, 2021, to holders of record at the close of business on November 15, 2021. The company's board of directors also declared a regular quarterly dividend of $1.00 per share for the period from October 1, 2021, to December 31, 2021, inclusive, on the cumulative $4.00 preferred stock of the company. This dividend is also payable on December 15, 2021, to holders of record at the close of business on November 15, 2021.

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