Int'l Paper Laying Off 1,100 Workers

EMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) -- International Paper is laying off 1,100 people who work at an Alabama paper mill that it plans to permanently close because of waning demand for the paper the facility makes.

International Paper Co. has about 70,000 employees in total.

The Memphis, Tenn., company said Wednesday that it looked for ways to repurpose the Courtland mill but determined that permanently closing it puts the company in the best position for the future.

The mill makes paper for forms, envelopes, labels, copiers, printers and magazines. Demand for such paper has steadily dropped as businesses shift to options such as online applications and electronic billing and filing.

The mill is part of the company's printing and communications business. Once the mill closes, the business will have four paper mills remaining, in Eastover, S.C.; Riverdale, Ala.; Georgetown, S.C.; and Ticonderoga, N.Y.

International Paper said that its fluff pulp business is not affected by the mill closing.

The company expects the closing to result in about $550 million in pretax asset write-off and accelerated depreciation charges. It expects about $125 million in pretax severance and other charges. The charges are expected to be recorded this year and in 2014.

The mill will be closed in stages and is expected to be shut down by the end of 2014's first quarter.

Shares of International Paper fell 38 cents to $48.90 in morning trading.

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