The paper industry is huge in the Ninth District, especially in
Wisconsin, the nation's largest single paper-producing state. While
the Dakotas have a small paper industry, Minnesota, Michigan and
Wisconsin together account for nearly 20 percent of U.S. paper production,
and Montana has a presence in the paperboard industry. But many
of the oldest names in American paper production have disappeared
as Upper Midwest companies have been swallowed by one another or
by corporate giants from elsewhere in the United States and overseas.
Here is a partial list of recent Ninth District merger activity.
- Georgia-Pacific, in the U.S. paper industry's first hostile
takeover, acquired Great Northern Nekoosa Corp. based in Port
Edwards, Wis., for $3.7 billion plus GNN's $1.7 billion debt.
- International Paper, headquartered in New York, bought Leslie
Paper, a Minneapolis company.
- Finland's UPM-Kymmene bought Blandin Paper in Grand Rapids,
Minn., for $650 million.
- Georgia-based Rock-Tenn Co. purchased Waldorf Corp. in St.
Paul, Minn., for $414 million.
- Consolidated Papers, based in Wisconsin Rapids, Wis., purchased
Repap Enterprise's Kimberly, Wis., mills for $227 million in cash
plus assumption of $433 million in debt.
- Wausau Paper Mills and Mosinee Paper Corp., both based in central
Wisconsin, merged operations to create one of the largest U.S.
makers of specialty paper products, with a market capitalization
of about $1 billion.
- Fort Howard Corp. (Green Bay, Wis.) and James River Corp. (Richmond,
Va.) merged their operations into a single company, Fort James
Corp., headquartered near Chicago, a $5.8 billion merger that
created the world's second biggest tissue producer.
- Stone Container Corp., with mills in Missoula, Mont., and Ontonagon,
Mich., merged with the U.S. arm of Ireland's Jefferson Smurfit
Group to create Smurfit-Stone, a powerhouse in the U.S. containerboard
market, with a combined value of $11 billion.
- Georgia-Pacific bought out Chesapeake Inc.'s Wisconsin Tissue
Mills Inc. (Menasha, Wis.) for $755 million.
- In February, Stora Enso Oyj, the Finnish paper giant, purchased
Consolidated Papers Inc., based in Wisconsin Rapids, for $4.8
- In June, International Paper acquired Stamford, Conn.-based
Champion International for $7.3 billion, giving it ownership of
Champion's 600,000 acres of Upper Peninsula timberland along with
70,000 acres in northeast Wisconsin and 7,500 acres in Minnesota.
- In November, Georgia-Pacific completed its $11 billion acquisition
of Fort James, a deal clinched when Georgia-Pacific agreed to
sell off a portion of its operations to address Justice Department