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MeadWestvaco to shut down four paper machines, cut 425 jobs

Mar 5, 2002 12:00 AM

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MeadWestvaco Corp. (Stamford, CT) announced its plans to permanently shut down four coated paper machines and related equipment, effective May 31, 2002.

Three coated paper machines and associated equipment will be permanently closed at MeadWestvaco's Chillicothe, OH, mill and one coated paper machine at the Luke, MD, mill will be permanently shut down. The restructuring will result in the elimination of about 350 positions in Ohio and approximately 75 positions in Maryland. It is expected that, over time, production will be transferred to more efficient machines elsewhere in the company's coated papers system.

"The actions we announced today will provide us with a lower cost and more efficient coated papers platform," said Ian W. Millar, president of MeadWestvaco's Papers Group. "The closure of high-cost equipment is critical to our plans to create a strong position in our markets, especially in the face of weak economic conditions and import competition resulting from a strong U.S. dollar. The actions we are taking will not change our grade lines and product offerings."

MeadWestvaco Corporation was formed on January 29, 2002, through the merger of The Mead Corp. and Westvaco Corp. The company has about $8 billion in annual sales and operates the packaging, coated and specialty papers, consumer and office products, and specialty chemicals markets.