WestRock Announces Acquisition of SP Fiber Holdings, Inc.

NORCROSS, Ga., Aug. 11, 2015 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- WestRock Company (NYSE:WRK) has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire SP Fiber Holdings, Inc. ("SP Fiber"), a producer of recycled containerboard and kraft and bag paper with mills located in Dublin, Georgia, and Newberg, Oregon. WestRock will also acquire SP Fiber's 48 percent interest in Green Power Solutions of Georgia, LLC (GPS). GPS is a renewable energy joint venture providing energy to Georgia Power and steam to the paper mill in Dublin. The total value of this transaction is $288.5 million.

"The Dublin and Newberg mills will balance the fiber mix of our mill system and the addition of kraft and bag paper will diversify our product offering," said Steve Voorhees, chief executive officer of WestRock. "We expect to apply our operating capabilities to improve the cost structure of both mills. As a result, our mill system will be better positioned to serve the increasing demand for lighter weight containerboard and kraft paper."

SP Fiber produces containerboard and kraft and bag paper for end use in consumer and corrugated packaging. Made from 100 percent post-consumer recycled fiber, these products have earned FSC, SFI and PEFC certifications.

"We are thrilled to have the opportunity to supply the food service market with lighter weight paper for recycled, unbleached bags. Adding this modern recycled containerboard and kraft paper production provides us with efficiencies in our mill system that will enable us to more effectively serve our customers," said Jim Porter, president, Paper Solutions, WestRock.

The transaction is expected to generate significant synergies and be accretive to earnings in the second half of fiscal year 2016. The transaction is subject to regulatory approval and will close after the regulatory process has concluded.

About WestRock

WestRock Company (NYSE:WRK) aspires to be the premier partner and unrivaled provider of paper and packaging solutions in consumer and corrugated markets. WestRock's 42,000 team members support customers around the world from approximately 275 operating and business locations spanning North America, South America, Europe and Asia. Learn more at westrock.com.

Forward Looking Statements

This release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Forward-looking statements are based on our current expectations, beliefs, plans or forecasts and are typically identified by words or phrases such as "may," "will," "could," "should," "would," "anticipate," "estimate," "expect," "project," "intend," "plan," "believe," "target," "prospects," "potential" and "forecast," and other words, terms and phrases of similar meaning. Forward-looking statements involve estimates, expectations, projections, goals, forecasts, assumptions, risks and uncertainties. WestRock cautions readers that a forward-looking statement is not a guarantee of future performance and that actual results could differ materially from those contained in the forward-looking statement. Such forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to, statements regarding, among other things, our expectation that we will apply our operating capabilities to improve the cost structure of the mills; the statements that, as a result of the transaction, we will be better positioned to serve the increasing demand for lighter weight containerboard and kraft paper and that the addition of this modern recycled containerboard production and kraft paper production will enable us to more effectively serve our customers; and that the transaction will close after the regulatory process has concluded and is expected to generate significant synergies and be accretive to earnings in the second half of fiscal year 2016. With respect to these statements, WestRock has made assumptions regarding, among other things, whether and when we will receive the necessary regulatory approval of the transaction; economic, competitive and market conditions generally; volumes and price levels of purchases by customers; competitive conditions in WestRock's businesses and possible adverse actions of their customers, competitors and suppliers. Further, WestRock's businesses are subject to a number of general risks that would affect any such forward-looking statements including, among others, decreases in demand for their products; increases in energy, raw materials, shipping and capital equipment costs; reduced supply of raw materials; fluctuations in selling prices and volumes; intense competition; the potential loss of certain customers; the scope, costs, timing and impact of any restructuring of our operations and corporate and tax structure; the occurrence of a natural disaster, such as a hurricane, winter or tropical storm, earthquake, tornado, flood, fire, or other unanticipated problems such as labor difficulties, equipment failure or unscheduled maintenance and repair, which could result in operational disruptions of varied duration; our desire or ability to continue to repurchase company stock; and adverse changes in general market and industry conditions. Such risks and other factors that may impact management's assumptions are more particularly described in RockTenn's and MeadWestvaco's past filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including under the caption "Business – Forward-Looking Information" and "Risk Factors" in RockTenn's Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended September 30, 2014 and "Management's discussion and analysis of financial condition and results of operations – Forward-looking Statements" and "Risk factors" in MeadWestvaco's Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2014. These risks, as well as other risks associated with RockTenn, MeadWestvaco and WestRock are also more fully discussed under the caption "Cautionary Statement Regarding Forward-Looking Statements" and "Risk Factors" in the Registration Statement on Form S-4 filed by WestRock on March 10, 2015 (which registration statement was amended on April 20, 2015, May 6, 2015, and May 18, 2015, and was declared effective on May 19, 2015). The information contained herein speaks as of the date hereof and WestRock does not have or undertake any obligation to update or revise its forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.

Investor Contacts:
John Stakel
Senior Vice President, Treasurer

Jason Thompson
Director, Investor Relations

Media Contact:
Sarah Hogeboom
Manager, Corporate Communications