Alpharetta, Georgia, USA, 01 July 2008 -- /PRNewswire/ -- Schweitzer-Mauduit International, Inc. (NYSE: SWM) today announced changes to its Brazilian operations, including the exit of the coated papers business and a resulting decrease of approximately 100 employees, or 16% of the current workforce, both effective immediately.
This announcement will result in restructuring expenses totaling approximately USD 3.3 million comprised of USD 1.8 million in fixed asset impairment charges and USD 1.5 million for cash employee severance and other payments. The restructuring expenses are expected to be recognized during the second and third quarters of 2008.
"Our Brazilian coated papers business has experienced increased inflationary cost pressures that we have not been able to offset with selling price increases," said Wayne H. Deitrich, chairman of the board and chief executive officer. "Due to the devaluation of the U.S. dollar against the Brazilian real, lower cost imported coated papers have gained an approximate 43% share of the local market.," Deitrich said. " As a result of these factors, we have decided to exit the coated papers business in Brazil and to concentrate on our core tobacco-related fine papers business. We expect that the combination of exiting the coated papers business in Brazil, in addition to the previously announced plan to raise the selling prices of tobacco-related fine papers throughout the North, Central, and South American markets, will restore a modest level of profitability in our Brazilian business by early 2009. Although these actions are regrettable in terms of the impact on our employees and the local community, they are necessary to improve our business performance and long-term profitability."
Schweitzer-Mauduit International, Inc. is a diversified producer of premium specialty papers and the world's largest supplier of fine papers to the tobacco industry. It also manufactures specialty papers for other applications. Schweitzer-Mauduit and its subsidiaries conduct business in more than 90 countries and employ 3400 people worldwide, with operations in the United States, France, Brazil, the Philippines, Indonesia, Canada, and a joint venture in China. For further information, visit www.schweitzer-mauduit.com