GOLDEN, Colo., Aug. 7 -- Graphic Packaging International Corporation announced today that its shareholders have approved the proposed merger with Riverwood Holdings, Inc. to form a global paperboard packaging company with estimated annual sales of $2.2 billion. The new company will be known as Graphic Packaging Corporation and will be headquartered in Marietta, Georgia. The deal is expected to close tomorrow, August 8, 2003.
Approximately 79% of Graphic Packaging's common shares and 100% of its preferred shares were voted for the merger during a special shareholders' meeting held today at the Company's headquarters, exceeding the 66 2/3% required of each class to approve the transaction. "Today's vote demonstrates our stockholders' confidence in the value of this combination of two very complementary businesses," said Jeffrey H. Coors, chairman and chief executive officer. "Graphic Packaging is the leading U.S. supplier of folding cartons to food and other consumer products companies, and Riverwood is a leading supplier of paperboard packaging for beverages. We expect this merger to provide the opportunity for synergies and improved efficiencies, a wider variety of products and services for our customers, and continued consolidation of the industry."
The proposed merger was originally announced on March 26, 2003. Mr. Coors will be executive chairman of the new company. Stephen M. Humphrey, currently president and chief executive officer of Riverwood, will be president and chief executive officer, and David W. Scheible, currently chief operating officer of Graphic Packaging, will be executive vice president of commercial operations for the new company.
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