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International Paper Completes Sale of Flexible Packaging Business

Press release from the issuing company

STAMFORD, Conn., Aug. 7 International Paper announced today the completion of the sale of its Flexible Packaging business to Exo-Tech Packaging LLC., a company sponsored by the Sterling Group. Earlier this year, International Paper had announced its intention to sell the business to the Sterling Group L.P., a Houston, Texas, based private equity firm. Details of the transaction were not disclosed. "The decision to sell Flexible Packaging was a difficult one for International Paper, but we are confident that Exo-Tech Packaging will grow as a focused, independent business,'' said Tom Gestrich, senior vice president, Consumer Packaging, International Paper. The sale of the Flexible Packaging Business is in conjunction with International Paper's plans to divest businesses that no longer fit its long-term strategy. "This is an exciting day for both the employees and customers of Exo-Tech Packaging as we look forward to operating as an independent company and executing against our strategic plan,'' said Patrick Woods, CEO of the new corporation. Exo-Tech Packaging, (formerly Flexible Packaging) supports such end uses as pet food, charcoal, building materials and lawn and garden products. The business employs 2,300 people and has 10 facilities including a prominent product development and graphics center. The corporation will be headquartered in Spartanburg, S.C. The Sterling Group, L.P. is a private equity firm engaged in the acquisition and ownership of operating businesses. Since its formation in 1982, The Sterling Group has sponsored the acquisition of 25 portfolio companies and approximately 20 add-on acquisitions for a total transaction value of approximately $6 billion. The Sterling Group's leveraged buyouts include such companies as Sterling Chemicals, Inc., Cain Chemical, Inc., Purina Mills, Inc., Arcadian Corporation, Mail-Well, Inc., Sterling Diagnostic Imaging, Inc., Fiber Industries, Inc., and Texas Petrochemicals Corporation.