US paperboard packaging giants Riverwood International and Graphic Packaging International are to merge in a stock transaction worth about $3 billion. The combined company, whose name is yet to be announced, will have revenues of approximately $2.3 billion and employ more than 8,000 people worldwide.

Graphic Packaging chairman and ceo Jeffrey Coors will be executive chairman, with Riverwood president and ceo Steve Humphrey as president and ceo. The headquarters will be in Atlanta. “We are uniting two strong companies that we believe will be the leading single source provider of innovative paperboard packaging solutions,” says Jeffrey Coors. “Our objective is to achieve accelerated growth in the global consumer, food and beverage packaging industries by capitalizing on the best from each organization.”

The deal is expected to complete in the third quarter of 2003, subject to shareholder and regulatory approvals.

Riverwood International is a leading integrated provider of paperboard packaging to multinational beverage and consumer products companies. It has annual sales of over $1.2 billion and approximately 4,100 employees in six countries. Graphic Packaging International, with revenues of approximately $1.1 billion, is North America’s leading supplier of folding cartons to the food, beverage and other consumable products markets.

Riverwood International Corp Tel: +1 770 644 3000.

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