A rock-solid reputation? You betcha. One of North America's containerboard giants, Rock-Tenn produces packaging for food, hardware, apparel, and other consumer goods. Its lineup includes recycled and bleached paperboard, containerboard, consumer and corrugated packaging, and point-of-purchase displays. Specialty paperboard is also converted into book cover and laminated paperboard and sold to other manufacturers for such applications as furniture, storage, and automotive components. Rock-Tenn in mid-2011 significantly expanded when it acquired former corrugated packaging and paperboard competitor Smurfit-Stone, now known as RockTenn CP, LLC.
Rock-Tenn has realigned its operations into three business segments: Corrugated Packaging (50% of total sales); Consumer Packaging (43%); and Recycling and Waste Solutions (7%). This last segment consists of Rock-Tenn's recycled fiber brokerage and collection operations.
The company owns about 160 facilities and leases about 75 worldwide. These facilities are located in Argentina, Canada, Chile, China, Puerto Rico and 38 US states.
Rock-Tenn's landmark purchase of rival Smurfit-Stone was valued at almost $5 billion, in a deal that included cash, stock, and Smurfit-Stone debt. The transaction positioned Rock-Tenn as the second largest producer of containerboard (used to make shipping boxes) in North America. With approximately 9.4 million tons of mill capacity, it ranks second behind International Paper. Moreover, Smurfit-Stone's operations extended Rock-Tenn's reached to the Midwest and West Coast, enabling it to capitalize on demand for containerboard as the recession's hangover diminished.
Purchasing Smurfit-Stone also skyrocketed Rock-Tenn's 2011 revenues to historic levels. From 2010 to 2011, the company's total sales surged by almost 80% from $3 billion to $5.4 billion -- a milestone high. On the flip side, Rock-Tenn's profits declined by around 37%, from $225 million to $141 million. The company also assumed about $1.2 billion in Smurfit-Stone's debt, and as of September 2011, Rock-Tenn's total debt hovered at around $3.4 billion.
Rock-Tenn previously purchased Innerpac Holding Company for $23.9 million in fall 2010. The deal gave Rock-Tenn a larger piece of the corrugated and specialty partition market as well as greater control over its own supply chain.