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International Paper Agrees to Sell Its Industrial Papers Business

Press release from the issuing company

STAMFORD, Conn., March 14 -- International Paper today announced that it has signed an agreement to sell its Industrial Papers Business to Kohlberg and Company, LLC for approximately $180 million subject to certain adjustments at closing. The Industrial Papers Business includes the lightweight packaging papers and pressure sensitive papers segments and related converting assets. The companies expect to close on the sale in the second quarter of 2005, subject to various closing conditions and any required regulatory approval. Included in the Industrial Papers sale agreement are paper mills in DePere and Kaukauna, Wis.; the Akrosil business with paper converting facilities in Menasha, Wis., Lancaster, Ohio, and Heerlen, Netherlands; and Thilmany Packaging located at the Kaukauna Mill. These operations employ approximately 1,400 people. The agreement with Kohlberg also includes a supply contract for IP to produce lightweight specialty papers at its Androscoggin, Maine, Mill. "This is a good business with dedicated employees, and I know these facilities will continue to be successful with new ownership," said Wayne Brafford, senior vice president of International Paper's Industrial Packaging Group. International Paper previously announced in August 2004 that it was exploring strategic alternatives for this business as part of the company's program to better focus its asset portfolio on core businesses and growth areas. The Industrial Papers business manufactures lightweight packaging papers and pressure sensitive papers that are used in such applications as pressure sensitive labels, food and industrial packaging and consumer hygiene products. The annual production capacity of the business including the contract volume from the Androscoggin, Maine, Mill is approximately 400,000 tons. Founded in 1987, Kohlberg & Company is a private equity firm with offices in Mt. Kisco, New York and Palo Alto, California. Together with its affiliates, Kohlberg manages more $3.7 billion of capital. Through its affiliates, Kohlberg has completed over 75 acquisitions and recapitalization transactions in a variety of industries, including a focus on investments in the manufacturing, healthcare, consumer products and service industries.