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International Paper (IP) Divests Turkish Corrugated Packaging

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International Paper Company IP has completed the sale of its 90.38% shareholdings interest in Olmuksan International Paper to Mondi Group for roughly €66 million ($81 million). This Olmuksan business includes five corrugated packaging facilities in Turkey, with an annual converting capacity of three hundred thousand tons.

The Olmuksan corrugated packaging business generates annual revenues of approximately €150 million ($185 million). This business serves food, agriculture, heavy-duty and industrial sector customers.

In January 2021, the company entered into this diversification agreement. Notably, the deal supports International Paper’s strategy to serve markets from an advantageous position. The company is focused on expanding its strategic corrugated packaging business in the EMEA region over the long haul.

It is integrating its world-class lightweight recycled containerboard with box network in Southern Europe to provide customers with a wide range of packaging solutions. During first-quarter 2021, the company acquired two box plants in Spain to expand footprint and enhance commercial capabilities in the region.

In December 2020, the company announced its plan to spin-off the Printing Papers segment into a standalone, publicly-traded company (SpinCo). This move will enable International Paper to focus on its Industrial Packaging segment, and capitalize on the rising demand for corrugated packaging, cut costs and improve earnings.

The company continuously evaluates its operations for improvement opportunities by focusing on the core businesses, realigning capacity to operate fewer facilities, closing high-cost facilities, and trimming costs. In sync with this, International Paper has offloaded businesses in China to focus more on its U.S. operations. The company believes it could cater to the Chinese and Asian markets more effectively by supplying globally-competitive products primarily through the Ilim joint venture in Russia, and via exports from the United States and other parts of the world.

International Paper has also completed the divesture of its consumer packaging business in North America to Graphic Packaging Holding Company GPK. This has helped the company maximize the value of North American Consumer Packaging business by combining it with Graphic Packaging, while also focusing on its core businesses, and strengthen the balance sheet.

International Paper continues to witness surging demand for corrugated and containerboard packaging. With rising e-commerce activities in the past few years, packaging has gained importance as it has to maintain the integrity and durability of a product to withstand the complex product-delivery process. On top of that, the pandemic has fueled e-commerce growth as online demand for grocery, beverage and pharmaceuticals delivery services has shot up.

Price Performance

International Paper’s shares have gained 87% over the past year compared with the industry’s rally of 88.7%.

Zacks Investment Research
Zacks Investment Research

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Zacks Rank & Other Stocks to Consider

International Paper currently carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

Some other top-ranked stocks in the basic materials space include ArcelorMittal MT and Cabot Corporation CBT. Both of these stocks flaunt a Zacks Rank #1, currently.

ArcelorMittal has a projected earnings growth rate of 984.7% for the current fiscal year. The company’s shares have soared nearly 179% in the past year.

Cabot has an expected earnings growth rate of 125.9% for the current fiscal year. The company’s shares have rallied around 79.4% over the past year.

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International Paper Company (IP) : Free Stock Analysis Report

ArcelorMittal (MT) : Free Stock Analysis Report

Cabot Corporation (CBT) : Free Stock Analysis Report

Graphic Packaging Holding Company (GPK) : Free Stock Analysis Report

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