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Management Side
Smurfit-Stone to Acqire Controlling Interest in Calpine Corrugate LLC
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Creve Coeur, Missouri, and Chicago, Illinois, USA, 14 April 2008 – Smurfit-Stone Container Corporation (NASDAQ: SSCC) today announced it has signed a letter of intent to take controlling interest in Calpine Corrugated LLC, an independent corrugated container producer based in Fresno, California.

Calpine Corrugated has experienced start-up losses since it began operations in 2006. Smurfit-Stone, which is the primary containerboard supplier to Calpine Corrugated, will record a charge of USD 0.05 per share in the first quarter to reserve for amounts due from the company. Under the restructuring agreement, Smurfit-Stone will take a 90% ownership interest in Calpine Corrugated. The transaction is expected to close in the second quarter.

"The acquisition of Calpine Corrugated fits our strategy to establish one of the most modern converting operations in North America,” said Patrick J. Moore, Smurfit-Stone chairman and CEO. “Operating some of the best packaging assets on the West Coast, Calpine serves the important California agriculture market. As a result, the acquisition upgrades our production platform, accelerates optimization of our northern California packaging system, and improves Smurfit-Stone’s position in a key target market segment. The combination of Calpine and our new state-of-the-art facility in the Los Angeles market, expected to be operational in the third quarter, will significantly upgrade Smurfit-Stone’s West Coast packaging operations.”

Smurfit-Stone to Report Lower First Quarter Results

The company also said it will report a first quarter adjusted net loss of USD 0.09 per share, comparable with prior year results. Smurfit-Stone had previously stated its expectation of sequentially lower results due to seasonally higher energy usage and the timing of employee benefit costs. Results in the quarter were further impacted by the USD 0.05 per share charge for Calpine Corrugated, significantly higher cost inflation, and softer box demand due to the slower U.S. economy.

“While our first quarter results were disappointing, we remain focused on transforming our operations to improve long-term financial performance," Moore said. "I expect continued savings from our strategic initiatives program and returns on our container capital investments to benefit future earnings. Over the past two years we have reduced debt by more than USD 1 billion and will continue to improve our financial flexibility.”

Smurfit-Stone will release its first quarter 2008 results 22 April, after market close. Management will discuss the company’s financial performance at 9 a.m. Eastern Time, 23 April, via a live webcast and teleconference. Participants may join the presentation by linking to the webcast through the investor page of the company’s Web site at www.smurfit-stone.com or by calling (800) 931-6429 (request the Smurfit-Stone earnings call) no later than 8:50 a.m. Eastern Time. The presentation will be archived on the company’s website.

Smurfit-Stone Container Corporation (NASDAQ: SSCC) is the industry's leading integrated containerboard and corrugated packaging producer and is one of the world’s largest paper recyclers. The company is a member of the World Business Council for Sustainable Development, the Sustainable Forestry Initiative®, and the Chicago Climate Exchange. Smurfit-Stone generated revenue of USD 7.4 billion in 2007, has led the industry in safety every year since 2001, and conducts its business in compliance with the environmental, health, and safety principles of the American Forest & Paper Association.

 

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