International Paper Sells Temple Building Products Division

By Bill Dries

International Paper Co. executives are selling the building products division of Temple-Inland Inc. for $750 million in cash to Georgia-Pacific LLC.

The assets in the sale include 16 manufacturing plants that make particleboard, fiberboard and gypsum wallboard as well as five solid wood mills. International Paper CEO John Faraci said the assets and division are not a part of IP’s core strategy but have value.

International Paper expects to complete the sale in the first quarter of 2013 and the company intends to use the money from the sale to reduce its debt.

International Paper bought Temple-Inland, of Austin, Texas, in a $4.5 billion transaction that began in late 2011 and was completed in February.

The announcement Thursday, Dec. 13, caps a busy week for the global paper and packaging company headquartered in Memphis.

Earlier in the week, IP executives reportedly told city and county leaders the company will expand its headquarters in Memphis contingent on getting approval of 15-year tax freezes on existing buildings as well as a new ninth building on the East Memphis campus.