xpedx, Unisource Merger Moves Forward
International Paper announced that distribution solutions businesses xpedx and Unisource Worldwide will merge under the terms of a definitive agreement that will result in the creation of a new publicly traded company. The agreements providing for the combination of the two businesses were signed by International Paper, parent company of xpedx, and by UWW Holdings, the holding company that owns Unisource and is owned by an affiliate of Bain Capital and by Georgia-Pacific, as well as certain of their affiliates.
Upon the expected completion of the merger in mid-2014, which is subject to certain closing conditions, the new company will have projected annual revenue in the range of $9 billion to $10 billion, and will have about 9,500 employees across more than 170 distribution centers in North America.
"This transaction provides excellent value for International Paper shareholders and is a unique opportunity for xpedx and Unisource to create a new company that is stronger, more competitive and able to provide even greater value to customers," said John Faraci, chairman and CEO of International Paper. "We anticipate the new company will generate synergies of about $200 million."
Mary Laschinger, president, xpedx, and senior vice president, International Paper, commented, "We're bringing together two well established distribution businesses to create a new company with the financial stability and strategic focus to strengthen and grow our core businesses. Combined, the new company will be even better positioned to provide the products, services and ideas to support our customers' businesses." She will serve as chairman and CEO of the new company.
The transaction will be accomplished through a Reverse Morris Trust structure. International Paper will indirectly contribute the assets of xpedx to a newly formed wholly owned subsidiary, xpedx Holding, in exchange for the stock of the subsidiary, a cash payment of approximately $400 million expected to be financed with new debt in the new company's capital structure, as well as the potential for an additional cash payment pursuant to an "earn-out" provision described below. International Paper will distribute shares of the new company to International Paper shareholders on a pro rata basis in a manner intended to be tax-free to International Paper and its shareholders.