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Supplier Notes

Sonoco, Ahlstrom Form Joint Venture

Sonoco, Hartsville, S.C., and Finland-based Ahlstrom Corp. have formed a joint venture that combines the companies’ European paper-based tube/core and coreboard operations — including 25 tube and core plants, and six paper mills owned by Sonoco; and 14 tube and core plants, a paper mill and a recutting center owned by Ahlstrom.

The new company, Sonoco-Alcore S.a.r.l., is based in Brussels and is headed by James A. Harrell III, division vice president, Sonoco Industrial Products/Paper, Europe. The company employs approximately 1,800 people. Sales generated in 2003 by the included properties totaled approximately $337 million.

Sonoco holds 64.5 percent of the shares in Sonoco-Alcore, and Ahlstrom holds 35.5 percent. The deal contains an option for Sonoco to purchase Ahlstrom’s shares, subject to certain conditions.

In a separate transaction, Ahlstrom has sold its paper mill core operation in Shouguang, China, to Sonoco Singapore Pte. Ltd., Singapore. The operation is not part of the joint venture.Ahlstrom now has turned its focus to high-performance nonwovens and specialty papers.

January 2005