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International Paper Agrees to Purchase Remaining Shares of CMCP
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Memphis, Tennessee, USA, and Brussels, Belgium, 12 July 2007 -- /PRNewswire/ -- International Paper today announced the company has signed an agreement with Cofipac to purchase the remaining shares of its joint venture Compagnie Marocaine des Cartons et des Papiers (CMCP) in Morocco for approximately USD 40 million. As a result, CMCP will be wholly owned by International Paper. Completion of the transaction is subject to normal closing conditions and is expected before the end of the third quarter.

In October 2005, International Paper acquired approximately 65% of CMCP shares to further grow its corrugated box business and to strengthen its position in the fruit and vegetable segment in the Mediterranean region.

Morocco remains an attractive market for International Paper and the company intends to continue investing in its packaging business there. "CMCP is a strong business with good prospects for the future in both industrial and fruit and vegetable segments," said Paul Brown, vice president of International Paper's European corrugated container business. "Morocco has a fast-growing economy with a rapidly developing consumer base that is expected to drive box demand growth. In addition, Morocco is a leading exporter of fresh fruit and vegetable products to European markets, and I am pleased to say that a large portion of the fruits and vegetables exported from Morocco to Europe are packaged in International Paper corrugated containers."

Aziz Qadiri and Hicham Qadiri will retire from their general management roles at CMCP upon closing. They will assume advisory roles to the new management team and also serve on CMCP's board of directors. A new managing director will also be appointed at that time.

"I want to thank the Qadiris for building CMCP into one of the pre-eminent companies in Morocco, and I look forward to continuing our successful relationship," Brown said.

CMCP has approximately 1500 employees and operates four box plants and one recycled containerboard mill in Morocco. CMCP produces corrugated packaging materials for the industrial and agricultural markets. In 2006, CMCP had sales of approximately USD 145 million.

International Paper (NYSE: IP), founded in 1898, is a global uncoated paper and packaging company with primary markets and manufacturing operations in North America, Europe, Russia, Latin America, North Africa, and Asia. Its uncoated papers and packaging businesses are complemented by xpedx, North America's largest distributor of printing papers and graphics supplies and equipment. Headquartered in the United States, International Paper employs approximately 54,000 people in more than 20 countries, and serves customers worldwide. Annual sales are about USD 22 billion. International Paper partners with customers and environmental, academic, civic, and governmental organizations, as well as landowners and harvesting professionals, to encourage responsible forest stewardship, improve the health and productivity of forestlands and increase recovery of our recyclable products. The company has a long-standing policy of using no wood from endangered forests. To learn more about International Paper, its products and commitment to economic, social, and environmental sustainability, visit www.internationalpaper.com.

Source: International Paper


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