By Ernest Scheyder
Dec 13 International Paper Co is selling
its building products unit to Georgia-Pacific LLC
for $750 million cash, a move designed to sharpen focus on its
massive packaging business.
The sale had been expected since IP acquired the unit, which
sells lumber and particle board for home construction, as part
of its $3.7 billion buyout of smaller rival Temple-Inland
earlier this year.
IP is the largest North American producer of corrugated
packaging, commonly used to make shipping boxes. Amazon.com Inc
is one of IP's largest customers.
The sale gives IP more cash to invest in the packaging
Georgia-Pacific will get the unit's 16 manufacturing
facilities located primarily in southeastern and eastern United
States, regions that are expected to see new home construction
when the economy recovers.
IP expects the deal to close in the first quarter of 2013.
Separately, IP said it will change the way it reports its
pension expenses by reporting operating earnings that don't
include the charges.
DuPont, AGCO and other companies have
announced similar moves with reporting operating earnings this