|MeadWestvaco Plans to Close Specialty Papers Plant
|Richmond, Virginia, USA, 22 August 2007 — MeadWestvaco Corporation (NYSE: MWV) announced today that it will discontinue operations at its Laurel specialty papers plant in South Lee, Massachusetts. The facility primarily produces wear-resistant overlay (WROL) for laminate flooring products.
The closure of the Laurel mill is in response to the overall decline in demand for traditional WROL products, continued structural shift to alternative wear-layer technologies, and the increased development of lower cost products from overseas markets.
Select production at this facility will be transferred to the Willow mill in South Lee, and to the Cedar mill in Potsdam, New York. The closure of the Laurel mill, expected by 31 December 2007, will enable MeadWestvaco to rationalize certain assets related to the manufacturing of WROL, and to streamline production in its Specialty Papers business.
“The decision to close our Laurel facility is based on careful analysis of our operations, consultation with industry leading customers, and the evolving needs of the global marketplace,” said Mike Huth, president of MeadWestvaco Specialty Papers. “We are carefully identifying areas in which we can improve competitiveness, and are taking the necessary steps to create a focused operational structure that will best serve our diverse customer base and achieve our financial goals.”
The closure of the Laurel facility will result in the elimination of approximately 70 positions. The company is offering voluntary severance to all eligible Specialty Papers employees. All affected employees will receive termination benefits, including financial assistance, benefits coverage, and outplacement assistance.
MeadWestvaco Corporation provides packaging solutions to many of the world’s most-admired brands in the food and beverage, media and entertainment, personal care, home and garden, cosmetics, and healthcare industries. The company has market-leading positions in its Consumer & Office Products and Specialty Chemicals businesses, and operates in more than 30 countries.
MeadWestvaco manages all of its forestlands in accordance with internationally recognized forest certification standards, and has been named to the Dow Jones Sustainability Index for the third consecutive year. For more information, visit us at www.meadwestvaco.com.