Smurfit-Stone Still Plans to Sell Frenchtown Mill

By Beacon Staff

MISSOULA – Smurfit-Stone Container Corp. has not changed its mind to sell its Frenchtown mill, even as competitor Rock-Tenn Co. plans to buy the company for $3.5 billion.

Ron Megna, assistant general counsel for Smurfit, told the Missoulian on Monday the company already had a signed letter of intent to sell the mill before Sunday’s announcement that it would be acquired by the Norcross, Ga., packaging company.

Megna says he anticipates the closing of the Frenchtown property within the next two weeks, but he would not name the likely new owner or release any other details — other than the potential buyer is in discussions with other business entities that will result in some jobs at the site.

Smurfit ceased operations at its Frenchtown plant in January 2010, putting about 400 people out of work as it worked its way through a Chapter 11 bankruptcy. The company emerged from bankruptcy in June.

Sunday’s deal between Smurfit and Rock-Tenn values Smurfit’s common shares at $35, a 27 percent premium over Friday’s closing price of $27.52.

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