International Paper reaches agreement to sell water company for $100 million

International Paper has reached an agreement to sell its Chocolate Bayou Water Company to the North Harris County Regional Water Authority in Southeast Texas for approximately $100 million.

May 12th, 2001

PURCHASE, N.Y., April 26, 2001 -- International Paper has reached a definitive agreement to sell its Chocolate Bayou Water Company, an IP subsidiary in the Houston, Texas, area, to the North Harris County Regional Water Authority in Southeast Texas for approximately $100 million, subject to certain adjustments at closing.

The transaction is subject to normal closing conditions, including regulatory approval. The IP company holds water rights on the Brazos River and other smaller bayous near Houston.

"We are delighted that these water assets can be can be put to beneficial use by both our current customers in Brazoria County, as well as the 400,000 citizens in north Harris County," said James Montgaue, IP's general manager for Chocolate Bayou Water Company. "Since the Authority intends to continue operating the current business, we are optimistic the employees of Chocolate Bayou Water Company will have job opportunities with the purchaser. This transaction is a win-win for all involved."

Today's agreement is part of International Paper's program to divest assets that no longer fit the company's long-term strategy in the wake of acquiring Champion International last year and the merger with Union Camp Corporation.

"This agreement with North Harris County Regional Water Authority proves once again that we are committed to divesting assets that no longer fit our long-term strategy of focusing on paper, packaging and forest products," said John Faraci, IP's chief financial officer and executive vice president.

International Paper (http://www.internationalpaper.com) is a paper and forest products company. Businesses include paper, packaging, and forest products.

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