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MeadWestvaco Announces Plans to Close South Lee, Massachusetts, Specialty Papers Plant

Press release from the issuing company

RICHMOND, VA - August 23, 2007 - MeadWestvaco Corporation announced today that it will discontinue operations at its Laurel specialty papers plant in South Lee, Massachusetts. The facility primarily produces wear resistant overlay (WROL) for laminate flooring products. The closure of the Laurel mill is in response to the overall decline in demand for traditional WROL products, continued structural shift to alternative wear-layer technologies, and the increased development of lower cost products from overseas markets.
Select production at this facility will be transferred to the Willow mill in South Lee, and to the Cedar mill in Potsdam, New York. The closure of the Laurel mill, expected by December 31, 2007, will enable MeadWestvaco to rationalize certain assets related to the manufacturing of WROL, and to streamline production in its Specialty Papers business.
"The decision to close our Laurel facility is based on careful analysis of our operations, consultation with industry leading customers, and the evolving needs of the global marketplace," said Mike Huth, president of MeadWestvaco Specialty Papers. "We are carefully identifying areas in which we can improve competitiveness, and are taking the necessary steps to create a focused operational structure that will best serve our diverse customer base and achieve our financial goals."
The closure of the Laurel facility will result in the elimination of approximately 70 positions, and the company is offering voluntary severance to all eligible Specialty Papers employees. All affected employees will receive termination benefits, including financial assistance, benefits coverage and outplacement assistance.