ATLANTA-- WestRock Company [NYSE: WRK], a leading provider of sustainable paper and packaging solutions, today 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 [NYSE: SON] 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.”
WestRock (NYSE: WRK) partners with our customers to provide sustainable paper and packaging solutions that help them win in the marketplace. WestRock’s team members support customers around the world from locations spanning North America, South America, Europe, Asia and Australia. Learn more at www.westrock.com.
This press release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Forward-looking statements are based on our current expectations, beliefs, plans or forecasts and are typically identified by words or phrases such as “may,” “will,” “could,” “should,” “would,” “anticipate,” “estimate,” “expect,” “project,” “intend,” “plan,” “believe,” “target,” “prospects,” “potential” and “forecast,” and other words, terms and phrases of similar meaning. Forward looking statements involve estimates, expectations, projections, goals, forecasts, assumptions, risks and uncertainties. We caution readers that forward-looking statements are not a guarantee of future performance and that actual results could differ materially from those contained in forward-looking statements. Our businesses are subject to a number of risks that would affect any such forward-looking statements. These risks are described in our filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including in Item 1A under the caption “Risk Factors” in our annual report on Form 10-K for the year ended September 30, 2021.