ATLANTA (News release) -- WestRock Company announced it has entered into a definitive agreement to wholly divest its ownership interest in RTS Packaging, LLC, to joint venture partner Sonoco Products Company for $330 million, subject to customary price adjustments. In addition, the Company has signed a definitive agreement to sell its uncoated recycled paperboard (URB) mills in Eaton, Indiana, and Aurora, Illinois, to Ox Industries for $50 million.
WestRock's mill in Chattanooga, Tennessee, which supplies RTS with URB, is included in the RTS Packaging transaction. This mill will be strategically integrated into the Sonoco Products Company portfolio. The transaction is expected to close in the first half of 2023, subject to the satisfaction of customary closing conditions, including regulatory approval.
The Eaton and Aurora mills produce URB, which is not a priority product for WestRock, and are optimized assets for Ox Industries, a supplier and manufacturer of recycled paperboard products. The transaction is expected to close in late 2022 or early 2023.
When the transaction closes, WestRock team members will transition to employment with Sonoco or Ox Industries, as applicable.
"These divestitures align with WestRock's commitment to optimize its portfolio and focus our strategy on key end markets," said David B. Sewell, chief executive officer. "I want to thank the teammates in RTS Packaging and our Chattanooga, Eaton and Aurora mills for their numerous contributions to our success over the years. Looking forward, we remain committed to leveraging the power of our broad, diverse portfolio of sustainable paper and packaging solutions to serve our customers and provide value to our shareholders."