Richmond, Virginia, USA, 17 November 2010 -- MeadWestvaco Corporation (NYSE: MWV) announced today a significant investment to grow its corrugated packaging business in the Brazilian market. MWV will expand operations at Rigesa, the company’s Brazilian subsidiary, to meet growing customer demand for high-quality packaging solutions. The company will invest approximately USD 480 million to develop its existing facility located in Santa Catarina State, including the installation of a new, state-of-the-art paperboard machine that will double the capacity of its Três Barras mill.
“The strategic decision to expand our Rigesa business signifies our strong commitment to continued growth and market leadership in Brazil,” said John A. Luke, Jr., chairman and CEO of MWV. “Our experience, knowledge-base, and existing infrastructure in Brazil – along with the country’s emergence as an economic powerhouse – make further investment in our business there very logical and attractive. We are confident that it will be a tremendous source of value for our shareholders and continue to be a longterm competitive advantage for MWV."
With this growth initiative, MWV significantly strengthens its Rigesa operations as a fully integrated packaging solutions company. Rigesa will further leverage its sustainable forestry, mill, and converting operations, as well as consumer insights, design, and engineering, to produce specialized corrugated packaging solutions for high growth markets in South America. Construction and installation of the new machine is expected to be complete in mid-2012. The new machine will produce 300,000 metric tons per year of kraft linerboard for use in the company’s packaging converting operations throughout Brazil.
The investment will be funded through a combination of internal and external sources. When the mill is fully operational, the company expects to employ approximately 800 people. MWV has served the Brazilian market with Rigesa since 1953 and currently employs over 2500 people in Brazil.
MeadWestvaco Corporation provides packaging solutions to many of the world’s most admired brands in the healthcare, beauty and personal care, food, beverage, home and garden, tobacco, and commercial print industries. The company's businesses also include Consumer & Office Products, Specialty Chemicals, and the Community Development and Land Management Group, which sustainably manages the company’s land holdings to support its operations, and to provide for conservation, recreation, and development opportunities. With 19,000 employees worldwide, MWV operates in 30 countries and serves customers in more than 100 nations. MWV manages all of its forestlands in accordance with internationally recognized forest certification standards, and has been named to the Dow Jones Sustainability World Index for the seventh consecutive year. For more information, visit www.mwv.com.
Rigesa, a wholly-owned subsidiary of MWV, supplies packaging solutions in the food, cleaning, cosmetics, health, chemicals, and electronic markets. Rigesa operates two paper mills, four corrugated packaging plants, one consumer packaging plant, and owns 54,000 hectares of forestry certified by Cerflor, the Brazilian Program of Forestry Certification.