Smurfit-Stone closes two mills

Smurfit-Stone Container Corporation permanently closed its Ontonagon, Michigan and Missoula, Montana mills.

The Ontonagon mill ceased operations in September when it began taking market-related downtime. The Ontonagon mill has 182 employees and the Missoula mill has 417 employees.

“These decisions were made to ensure the Company’s long-term growth and profitability and do not reflect on the hard work and commitment of the employees at the Ontonagon and Missoula mills,” said Steve Klinger, president and COO.

The Ontonagon mill, which produces 280,000 tons of medium annually, and the Missoula mill, which produces 620,000 tons of liner annually, are high-cost facilities that do not provide adequate returns over the long term for the Company.

The company expected to incur a restructuring charge of approximately $284 million, of which approximately $246 million is non-cash, in the fourth quarter of 2009.