Paper Mill

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.

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