International Paper Co. said Monday it has agreed to acquire Weyerhaeuser Co.'s pulp business in a deal valued at about $1.9 billion, including a $300 million tax benefit. International Paper said the deal includes five pulp mills and two converting facilities that produce fluff pulp, softwood pulp and specialty pulp to be used in a range of consumer goods, including diapers, tissue and textiles. The deal is expected to generate annual synergies of about $175 million by end 2018 and one-time costs of about $85 million. "This transaction will position us as the premier global supplier of fluff pulp and will enhance our ability to generate additional free cash flow," International Paper Chief Executive Mark Sutton said in a statement. Weyerhaeuser's pulp business has about 1,900 employees across the U.S., Canada and Poland. International Paper shares were not yet active in premarket trade, but Weyerhaeuser shares gained 1.7%.
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