MeadWestvaco approves shareholder returns from land sale

Staff Report
Published Feb. 4, 2014

MeadWestvaco Corp.’s board approved shareholder returns for the remaining $569 million in proceeds from the company’s recent sale of all of its U.S. forestlands.

The board approved about $175 million, or $1 per share, in the form of a special dividend to be paid with the regular quarterly dividend in March.

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The board also approved $394 million of share repurchases. MeadWestvaco expects $300 million will be from an accelerated share repurchase agreement, and $94 million will be pursuant to open market repurchases. Both are expected to be mostly completed by the end of the second quarter.

Combined with the company’s previous open market repurchase of approximately 3.75 million shares for $131 million, or $34.93 per share, total returns to shareholders from the forestland asset sale are expected to be $700 million.

The company completed the land sale to Plum Creek Timber Co. Inc. on Dec. 6.

“Not only are we returning substantial value to shareholders, but we also anticipate further upside for shareholders, as we continue to execute the development strategies we have in place on the company’s remaining highest value acreage in the Charleston area,” MeadWestvaco Chairman and CEO John A. Luke Jr. said in a statement.

MeadWestvaco provides packaging products for the health care, beauty and personal care, food, beverage, home and garden, tobacco and agricultural industries. Shares are traded on the New York Stock Exchange under ticker symbol MWV.

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