International Paper has agreed to sell its Arizona Chemical business to Rhône Capital III L.P. for approximately $485 million, subject to certain adjustments. As part of the transaction, International Paper will acquire a minority interest of approximately 10 percent in the acquisition vehicle to be formed by Rhône Capital. The transaction is expected to close in the first quarter of 2007.
Rhône Capital specializes in mid-market leveraged buyouts, recapitalizations and partnerships with particular focus on European and Trans-Atlantic investments. The acquisition of Arizona Chemical will be an investment of Rhône’s third private equity fund.
International Paper has also agreed to sell its beverage packaging business to Carter Holt Harvey, Ltd., for approximately $500 million.
“These agreements bring us close to completing the divestitures planned as part of our transformation, and I’m extremely pleased with the progress we’ve made in 2006 to become a more focused, more profitable company,” said John Faraci, International Paper chairman and chief executive. “Exiting these businesses is the right step for International Paper and our shareowners, but I don’t want to lose sight of the contribution the businesses and their employees have made to this company. They have a legacy of strong leadership, talent and commitment, and I know they’ll continue to succeed.”