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MeadWestvaco to Consolidate Packaging Operations

Press release from the issuing company

STAMFORD, Conn., Dec. 16 -- MeadWestvaco Corporation today announced that it is continuing the consolidation of its packaging operations by closing a plant in Greenville, Miss., and shifting its activities to facilities located closer to major customers. "These changes to our operations support the needs of our customers while enhancing the strength and focus of our business," said Rita V. Foley, president of MeadWestvaco's Consumer Packaging Group. The Greenville plant employs approximately 125 people. The company expects to eliminate those jobs and other positions supporting the Greenville plant, offering restructuring benefits, including outplacement assistance, to affected employees. It is expected the Greenville operation will close by the end of March 2003. Closing the plant will result in MeadWestvaco incurring a pretax charge in the range of $9 to $11 million beginning in the fourth quarter. This charge is associated with employee restructuring benefit payments, asset write-downs and other closure-related expenses. MeadWestvaco expects this action to have a positive subsequent effect on earnings. MeadWestvaco's Consumer Packaging Group is a leading global supplier of packaging for the media and entertainment, pharmaceutical and healthcare, and consumer products industries.