Shares of N. Charleston paper mill owner skyrocket on latest acquisition

KapStone Paper and Packaging acquired the Cooper River mill from MeadWestvaco Corp. about five years ago.

Grace Beahm

Shares of North Charleston mill owner KapStone Paper and Packaging Corp. soared to an all-time high Monday after the manufacturer said it reached a deal to buy Longview Fibre Paper and Packaging Inc. from Brookfield Asset Management Inc. for $1.03 billion in cash.

KapStone shares jumped $5.32, or 18 percent, to close $35.04 after peaking at $35.76. Longview manufactures containerboard, specialty papers and corrugated containers. Its operations include a mill in Longview, Wash., that’s equipped with five paper machines that produce 1.15 million tons of containerboard and paper each year.

In 2012, the company generated $831 million in net sales. Its first quarter 2013 sales totaled $217 million.

KapStone CEO Roger Stone said the acquisition will immediately boost his company’s profits. He added that it also will increase KapStone’s exposure to the containerboard segment, broaden its Kraft paper line and make it a global producer of multiwall paper.

The company also said expects cost savings of about $10 million within the first 18 months. The deal is expected to close this summer.

Since tumbling to an all-time low of $1 in 2009, KapStone’s shares have posted steady gains. They are up 58 percent so far in 2013.

Based outside Chicago, the company bought its North Charleston mill and a Summerville-based chip-mill businesses from MeadWestvaco Corp. in 2008.