Too early to tell effects of IP deal

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, May 16, 2000

It’s too early to tell what effect International Paper’s purchase of Champion International will have on Natchez’s mill, a mill spokeswoman said Monday.

&uot;It’s too early to speculate on the impact this deal will have on individual locations,&uot; Lillie DeShields said.

The company announced the acquisition Friday. Pending regulatory approvals, the deal could be final in June.

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IP’s offer to buy the Stamford, Conn.-based Champion is valued at $7.3 billion, or $75 per share in cash and stock.

IP’s bid to buy the company was higher than Helsinki-based UPM-Kymmene Corp.’s bid of $70 per share.

IP Chairman and CEO&160;John Dillon said the company is pleased the Champion Board of Directors accepted the offer.

&uot;We look forward to bringing Champion’s outstanding people and communities into the International Paper family,&uot; he said. &uot;We’ve said all along that bringing together International Paper and Champion makes good sense because of the tremendous opportunities presented by a combined organization. Our offer is consistent with what we said two weeks ago — we wanted a deal that creates value for International Paper shareowners and for Champion shareowners.&uot;

International Paper is the world’s largest paper and forest products company. Its businesses include printing papers, packaging, building materials, chemical products and distribution.

International Paper’s Natchez mill has been in operation for 50 years.