Following is the transcript of the announcement of MeadWestvaco Corporation (NYSE:MWV) to fully separate its Specialty Chemicals business from the rest of the company made on Thursday, January 8, 2015, 9:00 AM ET. The separation, expected to be executed by a tax-free spin-off, is expected to be completed by the end of 2015.
MeadWestvaco Corporation (NYSE:MWV) is an American packaging company with global presence. The company has a network of 125 facilities and 16,000 employees spanning several countries, serving customers in over 100 countries. The company is a leading producer of packaging, specialty papers, consumer and office products, and specialty chemicals.
Jason Thompson – Director of Investor Relations, MeadWestvaco Corporation
John Luke, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer (CEO), MeadWestvaco Corporation
Robert Beckler, Executive Vice President (EVP) and President, Packaging, MeadWestvaco Corporation
E. Mark Rajkowski, Senior Vice President (SVP), Chief Financial Officer, MeadWestvaco Corporation
Mark Connelly – CLSA
Ghansham Panjabi – Robert W. Baird& Co.
Adam Josephson -KeyBanc Capital Markets, Inc.
George Staphos – Bank of America Merrill Lynch
Mark Wilde – Bank of Montreal
Mark Weintraub – Buckingham Research
Gail Glazerman – UBS Investment Bank
Chip Dillon – Vertical Research Partners
Ladies and gentlemen, thank you for standing by and welcome to this morning’s MWV Conference Call. I would like to turn the conference over to Mr. Jason Thompson, Director of Investor Relations. Please go ahead, sir.
Jason Thompson, Directorof Investor Relations, MeadWestvaco Corporation
Thanks, John and good morning, everyone. John Luke, Bob Beckler, and Mark Rajkowski are here to discuss the announcement we made this morning. The notification for this call was broadly disclosed and it has been webcast at mwv.com. Results are also available. Our results in commentary are presented on a continuing operations basis and are correct as of today, but could conclude time-sensitive information that are subject to change. In addition, any statements that are forward-looking are subject to known and unknown risks and they are not guarantee to the future performance. We are allotted about half hour for today’s call so I will now turn it to our Chairman and CEO,John Luke.
John Luke, Chairman and CEO, MeadWestvaco Corporation
Jason, thanks very much and good morning to all of you. Thanks for joining us in short notice to discuss an exciting next step in value creation for MWV shareholders. I will briefly summarize the news that we shared this morning and what it means for our company,both now and in the near future. Following this, Bob Beckler will comment on the strategies for both Specialty Chemicals and packaging going forward. After which, Mark Rajkowski will discuss relevant financial items. We will then turn to you for your questions.
For some time, we recognized the potential value of our market leading Specialty Chemical business, having doubled the business in the last five years to a billion dollars and significantly improved profitability. This progress has provided a real opportunity for us to evaluate an appropriate path forward, taking into account a variety of factors that impact value creation for our shareholders. That path is clear today and we will pursue, that is where we spin off Specialty Chemicals this year. This will position both Specialty Chemicals and our packaging business as strong successful independent companies. It extends our record as strategic shareholder friendly actions.
This is an opportunity born of our success in building MWV’s businesses and the leaders in packaging and Specialty Chemicals markets around the world. Each of these businesses has a strategy that differentiates it in the marketplace. Each has outstanding profitable growth opportunities and each will have greater operational flexibility and optimal capital structures. Our shareholders will benefit from owning votes of this focused, agile, and strong companies.