The plants are located in Fort Smith, Ark., Santa Paula, Calif., Chicago and Solon, Ohio. The company will eliminate a total of 215 jobs, according to an International Paper statement. The plants are a combination of facilities owned by Austin, Texas-based Temple-Inland Inc. and International Paper.
The closings come months after Memphis-based International Paper (NYSE: IP) completed its $4.4 billion acquisition of Temple-Inland, which brought an additional 10,000 employees, 59 box plants, 14 building products plants and seven containerboard mills into IP’s group of 23,000 employees, 12 paper mills and more than 140 box plants on six continents.
In addition to the plant closures, the U.S. Department of Justice is requiring International Paper to divest three of its mills as part of the acquisition approval, a move that should be completed by the summer.
In a February story in Memphis Business Journal, John Faraci, chairman and CEO of International Paper, said the company would continue to operate those three mills until they are sold. The mills are located in Hueneme, Calif., Ontario, Calif., and New Johnsonville, Tenn. (Click here for the full story.)
“The combination of the newly acquired and legacy container plants created overcapacity in some areas as compared with our customer needs,” Bill Hoel, senior vice president of International Paper, said. “To operate our business most effectively, we have to make difficult choices about which facilities are best able to support our customer needs now and in the future.”
Hoel said the company will work with the affected employees during the process of shutting the plants down.