MeadWestvaco offloads paper-making business

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In an effort to stave off negative ratings actions by cleaning up its balance sheet, paper and packaging company MeadWestvaco has agreed to sell its paper business to financial buyer Cerberus Capital Management for $2.3 billion in cash. The deal is expected to be completed in the second quarter of 2005.

MeadWestvaco predicts the deal will result in after-tax net proceeds of about $2.1 billion. Management say that they intend to use $1.1 billion to pay down debt and between $500 million and $

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