Int'l Paper in Bidding War for Champion
Champion released a statement saying its board of directors would "consider the proposal and respond as appropriate."
In Helsinki, UPM also responded, saying only that it would "consider the situation."
Dillon said he believed the two companies already had similar cultures and could be integrated easily.
IP said it expected that a merger with Champion would result in annual cost savings of $425 million as manufacturing operations are consolidated and overhead costs are cut, mainly in North America.
IP also announced plans to sell more than $3 billion in assets by the end of 2001 as part of its plan to increase focus on its core businesses.
"The assets that will be sold are not strategic to International Paper's core businesses. The acquisition of Champion and the divestiture program that we are announcing will significantly increase the focus of IP by redeploying capital into our core businesses," Dillon adds.