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Sappi Finalizes Plans To Exit U.S. Uncoated Paper Business, Close Mobile Mill

Press release from the issuing company

BOSTON--May 15, 2001--Sappi Limited (NYSE: SPP) today said that it has finalised plans to exit the uncoated paper business in the U.S. and close its paper mill in Mobile, Alabama following a final review. As previously announced, the shutdown of the facility will enable Sappi Fine Paper North America to focus on its core business, coated fine paper. Sappi will permanently shut the three paper machines at the mill in phases over the next several months and cease all operations at the mill. A specific timetable has not yet been determined. However, the closure will be completed by no later than mid-December 2001. The company has made no decisions regarding the disposal of the site or the machinery in the mill. The mill employs approximately 500 people. Sappi will be sharing the details of enhanced retirement and other separation benefits with its salaried employees. Discussions with union officials regarding the terms and conditions of hourly employee separation will begin immediately. The mill's main product is SpectraTech, a line of uncoated papers used in commercial printing. The mill also manufactures converting grades and Lusterprint, a durable, high gloss paper used for pet food bags. It has a capacity of approximately 300,000 tons annually. The company intends to produce Lusterprint at other Sappi facilities and to exit the U.S. uncoated and converting paper segments.

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