TOMAHAWK, WI—A July 29 explosion at the Packaging Corp. of America’s paper mill here claimed the lives of three workers and injured another. According to the Associated Press, the men died when a tank used to store recycled fiber exploded while they were performing maintenance on top of it. A fourth worker was treated and released from a nearby hospital. An investigation was under way to determine the cause of the accident. Lake Forest, IL-based Packaging Corp. of America manufactures containerboard and corrugated packaging products. It operates four paper mills and 67 corrugated product plants in 26 states. It registered sales of $2.3 billion
STAMFORD, CT—The long-awaited paper merger has finally become a reality. Only the participants are a bit surprising. No, Weyerhaeuser did not acquire Willamette. That should take a while. And it wasn't International Paper and Stora Enso (see Paper Mill Watch), which for now is only a rumor. How about Mead Corp. and Westvaco Corp.? On August 29 the companies jointly announced a $3 billion merger, with a combined annual revenues total of $8 billion. The newly created company will be called MeadWestvaco Corp. and will be headquartered here. The move essentially launches MeadWestvaco from mid-sized player into worldwide competition with IP and Georgia-Pacific.