Smurfit-Stone to Close Two U.S. Mills
CREVE COEUR, Mo. and CHICAGO—Smurfit-Stone Container Corporation announced plans to permanently close its Ontonagon, Mich., and Missoula, Mont., mills, effective December 31.
The Ontonagon mill ceased operations in September when it began taking market-related downtime. The Missoula mill will continue operating until December 31. The Ontonagon mill has 182 employees and the Missoula mill has 417 employees.
“These decisions were made to ensure the Company’s long-term growth and profitability and do not reflect on the hard work and commitment of the employees at the Ontonagon and Missoula mills,” said Steve Klinger, president and COO.
He added, “We recognize that closing facilities is always difficult on our employees, their families, and the communities, and we will work with our employees, union representatives, and public officials during these transitions.”
The Ontonagon mill, which produces 280,000 tons of medium annually, and the Missoula mill, which produces 620,000 tons of liner annually, are high-cost facilities that do not provide adequate returns over the long term for the Company.
The company expects to incur a restructuring charge of approximately $284 million, of which approximately $246 million is non-cash, in 4Q 2009.