Smurfit-Stone Workers’ Pensions to Stay Intact

By Beacon Staff

MISSOULA – Millworkers at Smurfit-Stone Container Corp.’s Frenchtown plant say they are relieved after the paper products company announced their pensions will remain intact during bankruptcy proceedings.

The Chicago-based company, the largest producer of cardboard box materials in North America, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in January to restructure a heavy debt amid the global credit freeze. Smurfit-Stone aims to emerge from bankruptcy by next spring.

In a news release Tuesday, the company announced it and all of its debtors have filed a joint plan of reorganization, which chairman and CEO Patrick Moore called an “important milestone.” The company also says it plans to merge with its subsidiary, Smurfit-Stone Container Enterprises Inc., and create a new board of directors.

Meanwhile, all the existing equity securities of Smurfit-Stone are expected to be canceled, and existing shareholders of Smurfit’s common and preferred stock will be essentially void.

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