The Mead Corporation of Ohio and Connecticut-based Westvaco Corporation agreed to merge. The deal, effected on a tax-free basis, creates a leading global producer of packaging, coated and specialty papers, consumer and office products and specialty chemicals with annual sales of $8 billion. Prior to the merger, both companies had sales in Canada, although their activities here were largely complementary. The parties closed the transaction on January 30, 2002, and its value is confidential. The new company, MeadWestvaco Corporation, is headquartered in Stamford, Connecticut.
Mead in-house counsel Sue McDonnell retained a team from Howrey Simon Arnold & White in Washington, D.C., including Jim Rill, Alan Wiseman, Joe Ostoyich, Chris Cooper and Jacqueline Grise to handle filings in the U.S.; Trevor Soames and Geert Goeteyn of Norton Rose in the E.U.; Jiri Nemec of Haarmann, Hemmelrath & Partner in Brussels; and José Eduardo Ribé Martínez de Velasco and Ricardo Gutiérrez Pier of Sánchez-Mejorada, Velasco y Valencia, S.C. in Mexico. In Canada, D. Martin Low, Q.C., Mark Opashinov and Claudette Pennesi of McMillan Binch handled competition issues.
Westvaco in-house counsel Wendell Willkie and John Carrara retained Michael Byowitz and Michael Jahnke of Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz in New York for U.S. issues; John Boyce and Vassili Moussis of Slaughter and May in Brussels for E.U. matters; Jonathan Zimmerman and Libuse Jeremiásová of Glatzová & Co. in the Czech Republic; Gabriel Castañeda-Gallardo, Ricardo Hernandez Estrada and Vicente Peredo Vazquez of Castañeda y Associados in Mexico; and Flavio Lemos Belliboni, Lilian Barreira and Cristianne Saccab of Pinheiro Neto in Brazil (jointly retained with Mead). In Canada, Davies Ward Phillips & Vineberg LLP was retained, with Paul Crampton and David Fruitman handling competition elements.