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Mead Sells Western Graphics Corporation

Press release from the issuing company

DAYTON, Ohio, Oct. 1 - The Mead Corporation today announced its sale of the Western Graphics Corporation based in Eugene, Oregon, to Rose Art Industries, Inc. Western Graphics, a manufacturer and distributor of creative coloring products, was purchased by Mead in November 1999 as part of the AT-A-GLANCE acquisition. Terms of the transaction between Mead and Rose Art were not disclosed, however Mead expects to report a pretax gain in the second half of 2001 related to the sale. Rose Art has offered employment to many of Western Graphics' former employees. "Western Graphics is a strong business, but its products are not a strategic fit with the rest of our current business lines. We believe that Rose Art's expertise more closely matches the needs of Western Graphics and the business will continue to prosper,'' said Neil A. McLachlan, president of the Mead Consumer & Office Products division. "Following the acquisition of AT-A-GLANCE, we have taken several strategic steps to further strengthen our business. In this case, we sold Western Graphics to better focus our resources.'' Rose Art Industries, with headquarters in Livingston, New Jersey, is the leading manufacturer of arts-and-crafts products in the U.S., based on units sold, and the second largest maker of crayons. The Mead Consumer & Office Products division is a producer and distributor of school supplies, time management products such as planners and calendars, home office products and related items. Products are distributed through mass retailers, office superstores, commercial stationers and office products catalogs. The Mead Corporation, a forest products company with $4.4 billion in annual sales, is one of the leading North American producers of coated paper, coated paperboard and consumer and office products, a world leader in multiple packaging and specialty paper, and a producer of high-quality corrugating medium. In management of the company's more than two million acres of forests, Mead is committed to practicing principled forest stewardship and using resources in a responsible and sustainable manner. For additional information about Mead, visit the company's web site at www.mead.com .

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