Business

Cedar Rapids cardboard box manufacturer KapStone purchased by Atlanta-based WestRock Co.

Plant has third owner in five years

Downtown Cedar Rapids on Tuesday, May 14, 2014. (Liz Martin/The Gazette)
Downtown Cedar Rapids on Tuesday, May 14, 2014. (Liz Martin/The Gazette)

A northeast Cedar Rapids cardboard box manufacturer has announced it has its third owner in the past five years.

KapStone Paper and Packaging Corp. has been purchased by WestRock Co. of Atlanta for $4.6 billion.

The deal, completed Nov. 2, includes KapStone’s plant at 1601 Blairs Ferry Rd. NE, one of 22 converting facilities operated by the Northbrook, Ill., producer of containerboard, kraft paper and corrugated products.

KapStone, which also owns four paper mills and 60 distribution centers, employs about 6,400.

The Cedar Rapids plant previously was owned by Longview Fibre Paper and Packaging of Longview, Wash. KapStone bought Longview Fibre in July 2013 for $1.025 billion.

The 116,440-square-foot Cedar Rapids plant was built in 1956 and operated for many years by Longview Fibre.

WestRock produces an assortment of paper and packaging solutions from about 300 operating and business locations in North and South America, Europe, Asia and Australia, and employs about 45,000.

In a news release announcing completion of the purchase, WestRock CEO Steve Voorhees said the acquisition of KapStone will strengthen WestRock’s presence on the West Coast and broaden its portfolio of differentiated paper and packaging solutions.

Voorhees said WestRock expects to achieve approximately $200 million in synergies and performance improvements by the end of fiscal 2021 through the integration of the former KapStone operations into WestRock’s corrugated business.

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