The International Paper Company (NYSE: IP) is an American pulp and paper company, the largest such company in the world. It has approximately 55,000 employees, and it is headquartered in Memphis, Tennessee.
The company was incorporated January 31, 1898, upon the merger of 17 pulp and paper mills in the northeastern United States. Its founders and first two presidents were William Augustus Russell, who died suddenly in January 1899, and Hugh J. Chisholm. The newly formed company supplied 60 percent of all newsprint in the country.
The Hudson River Mill in Corinth, New York, where the Sacandaga River joins the Hudson River, was a major pioneer in the development of the modern paper industry in the late 19th century. The first wood-based paper (newsprint) mill in New York, it was built by Albrecht Pagenstecher in 1869.
In the early 20th century, the Hudson River Mill was one of the company's largest plants and served both as its principal office, and a place where paper workers helped shape the direction of the industry's early labor movement.
After World War II, Hudson River Mill workers developed and perfected the production of coated papers for the company. Shifting economic forces resulted in the mill's closure in November 2002. The historic mill was slated for demolition in 2011.
Given the nature of their products, paper plants are highly flammable. Therefore, International Paper Company frequently used asbestos insulation in its walls and floors, roof, etc as a preventative measure. Asbestos insulation was also used on pipes and boilers throughout International Paper plants. Ironically, this material that was meant to protect people ended up doing severe damage to people’s health
Asbestos was used throughout International Paper’s Corinth manufacturing plant. These companies never warned the International Paper workers that their asbestos products were dangerous, even though asbestos was known to causes illnesses as far back as the 1920s. As a result, many former employees of International Paper are being diagnosed with mesothelioma.
In 1987, the company's paper mill workers went on strike at a number of its U.S. plants.
In 1986, the company acquired the Hammermill Paper Company, founded in 1898, which managed eleven papermills nationwide, and had its corporate offices based in Erie, PA ; in 1988, the Masonite Corporation; and in 1989, the German paper company Zanders Feinpapiere AG and the French paper manufacturer Aussedat Rey. In 1996, it purchased Federal Paper Board. In 1999, the company purchased Union Camp Corporation, and in 2000 Champion International Paper. Additionally, it owns shares in the Chilean company Copec.
Andhra Pradesh Paper Mills Rajahmundry, which is now an International Paper company, is one of the biggest integrated paper and pulp manufacturing centers in India. The company produces writing, printing, and copier papers and paper boards for foreign and domestic markets. APPM's production facilities are two mills in Rajahmundry and Kadiam with a total production capacity of 240,000 TPA. The company is becoming a driving force in sustainability in the paper manufacturing arena through focused social and community programs, including pioneering work in raw material generation through social farm forestry. International Paper owns a majority interest in APPM, and the remaining shares are publicly traded on the Bombay and National Stock Exchange of India (APPAPER).
In 2012, International Paper, through the merger of its wholly owned subsidiary Metal Acquisition Inc. with and into Temple-Inland, acquired Temple-Inland in a deal valued at $4.5 billion. Temple-Inland then became a wholly owned subsidiary of International Paper. At the time of sale, Temple-Inland's corrugated packaging operation consisted of 7 mills and 59 converting facilities as well as the building products operation.
In 2005 and 2006, the company undertook a significant restructuring, selling over 6,000,000 acres (24,000 km) of forestland in the U.S., along with its coated paper, kraft paper, wood products, and beverage packaging businesses, as well as subsidiaries Arizona Chemical and New Zealand-based Carter Holt Harvey. The coated paper business (four mills in Maine, Michigan and Minnesota) were sold to Apollo Management and now operate as Verso Paper. The kraft paper business (composed of a kraft paper mill in Roanoke Rapids, North Carolina and a dunnage bag plant in Fordyce, Arkansas) was sold to Kapstone Paper and Packaging and operates as Kapstone Kraft Paper.
The beverage packaging business, now called Evergreen Packaging, was purchased by Carter Holt Harvey, following the purchase of CHH by Graeme Hart. The company sold its wood products division to West Fraser Timber, based in Vancouver, British Columbia. This included 13 sawmills, making West Fraser the second-largest producer of lumber in North America, after Weyerhaeuser Company.
Under pressure from budget sequestration in 2013, the Federal government of the United States (IP's largest customer) has moved from physical checks to cheaper electronic transactions.
John Runyan, former head of federal government relations for IP, has become executive director of Consumers for Paper Options, a paper industry funded group that advocates for the use of paper documents for clients of the Federal government who are Internet challenged.
The company's logo was designed by American graphic designers Lester Beall and Richard Rogers in 1960. The logo features the letters "I" and "P" which form a stylized arrow also resembling a tree surrounded by a circle. A primary constraint in the design process was the need for a logo simple enough that it could be stenciled onto trees and lumber intended for paper production.
International Paper owns Tower I (at 6400 Poplar) and occupies the entire property and leases 50,000 square feet in Tower II (at 6410 Poplar) and all of Tower III (at 6420 Poplar).
In 2000, International Place Tower III was designed and rests amid the two existing towers and courtyard. The Crump Firm designed the eleven-story, 234,000 square foot tower to include offices, conference rooms, training rooms and dining facilities. The exterior granite was bought and warehoused in the mid-1980s with the intent that its construction would mimic that of the earlier towers. However, inclusion of seismic criteria to the Memphis building code in 1994 made the initial design unable to move forward. Therefore, architects had to completely change the original structural design in order to adhere to the strict exterior dimensions needed to utilize the existing granite and to match the existing towers.
In 2012, it was announced that International Papers was building a $90.2 million, 235,000-square-foot tower at 6430 Poplar Ave. in East Memphis.
In addition to the four office towers at International Place, the company operates an airport hangar facility (at 2522 Winchester Road) and a Southwind data center at (3232 Players Club Parkway). Other company related facilities include a recycling center on South Third and two warehouse operations across Memphis.
The company is the largest producer of plastic lids and paper cups, manufacturing for the fast-food giants McDonald's, Wendy's, Subway. Its wood products division was sold in 2007 to West Fraser Timber Co. Ltd., a company headquartered in Vancouver, British Columbia. The company produces printer and copier paper, envelopes, corrugated packaging and shipping containers, consumer packaging for cosmetics, home entertainment and other retail markets, and food service packaging.
The company is a former Dow Jones Industrial Average component, included in the index from July 3, 1956, to April 7, 2004. It was one of three components to be dropped in the 2004 change, together with AT&T Corporation and Eastman Kodak.
Beginning February 1, 2007, the sale of the beverage-packaging division was completed as New Zealand billionaire Graeme Hart won the bid with purchase price of nearly $800 million. The division now operates under the Evergreen label.
On March 17, 2007, the company announced it was buying the containerboard unit of Weyerhaeuser for $6 billion in cash.
In October 2007, it formed a joint venture with Ilim Holding, Ilim Group, the alliance in the Russian forest sector.
On July 1, 2014, the company announced the completion of the xpedx spinoff which merged with Unisource, creating an independent company, Veritiv Corporation.
On May 2, 2016, it announced it was purchasing the cellulose fiber division of Weyerhaeuser. The acquisition was completed on Dec 1, 2016.