Inernational Paper-Temple Inland deal gets U.S. antitrust OK

MEMPHIS, Tenn. – International Paper Co. won U.S. antitrust approval to acquire rival Temple-Inland Inc on the condition that they divest three mills that make paper for corrugated boxes, the U.S. Justice Department said on Friday.

Without the divestitures, the combined company would have had control of 37 percent of the North American capacity for containerboard, which is used to make corrugated boxes, the department said.

Under a consent decree, Temple-Inland will sell its mills in Waverly, Tenn., and Ontario, Calif., and International Paper will divest either its mill in Oxnard, Calif., or one in Henderson, Ky.

“With the mill divestitures, the transaction can proceed and American consumers and businesses across the country can be assured that competition is preserved in this important industry that is vital to the U.S. economy,” said Sharis Pozen, the acting head of the Justice Department’s antitrust division.

Temple-Inland agreed to be acquired in September after International Paper sweetened its offer to $3.7 billion.