International Paper to buy Temple-Inland for over $3 billion

International Paper (IP) has agreed to a $3.7 billion deal to acquire Temple-Inland.

The merger agreement, expected to close in 2012, will bring together two very strong corrugated packaging businesses.

IP will assume $600 million in Temple’s debt. The deal averts a prolonged hostile bid process, which likely never would have succeeded given Temple’s poison pill defense.

Temple makes corrugated packaging, which is used to make shipping boxes. When the deal closes, International Paper will be able to consolidate pricing power by controlling roughly 40 percent of the corrugated industry.