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Westvaco Shareholders Approve Merger With Mead

Press release from the issuing company

STAMFORD, Conn.--Jan. 28, 2002--Westvaco announced today that more than 99 percent of shares voted, representing more than 81 percent of all outstanding shares of Westvaco common stock, were cast in favor of a proposed merger of equals with The Mead Corporation, surpassing the 50 percent vote required for approval. The votes were counted during a special meeting of shareholders held today in Stamford, CT. "We are gratified that our shareholders appreciate the tremendous potential for this merger to enhance the value of their investments,'' said John A. Luke, Jr., Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. "We expect to close the merger promptly and look forward to our first day as MeadWestvaco. With its financial strength, efficient business platforms and focus on attractive global markets, this new enterprise will hold leading positions in value-creating global businesses.'' On August 29, 2001, Mead and Westvaco announced that they agreed to a merger of equals creating a global company with leading positions in packaging, coated and specialty papers, consumer and office products, and specialty chemicals. The new company, MeadWestvaco will have $8 billion in annual revenues, profitable growth platforms in the company's four core businesses and a strong balance sheet with substantial financial capacity.