Mead to buy Westvaco in stock swap

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New York--In another sign of the rapidly consolidating paper industry, forest products company Mead Corp. has agreed to buy Westvaco Corp. in a $3 billion stock swap. The combined company, to be called MeadWestvaco Corp., would have revenue of more than $8 billion, with four core operations-packaging, coated and specialty papers, consumer and office products, and specialty chemicals. Other recent deals in the paper industry include International Paper's purchase of Shorewood Packaging and Champion International, and Georgia Pacific Corp.'s acquisition of Fort James Corp. With the merger, MeadWestvaco would assume the No. 2 position in the market for coated papers, behind International Paper.
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