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Local company part of $470 million paper mill deal

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Schwarz Partners LP, an Indianapolis-based holding company, has formed a joint venture with The Kraft Group LLC to buy two major paper mills from industry giant International Paper Co., the companies announced Friday.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but International Paper is selling the mills as part of a three-mill sale worth $470 million.

The sale was required by the U.S. Department of Justice's antitrust division after International Paper acquired industry rival Temple-Inland Inc. for $3.5 billion in February.

International Paper, based in Memphis, Tenn., is selling a former Temple-Inland mill in Ontario, Calif., and one of its own mills in Oxnard, Calif., to the Schwarz-Kraft joint venture known as New-Indy Containerboard LLC.

Schwarz Partners owns various businesses that focus on packaging and transportation, including Dalton Box, The Royal Group and Indianapolis-based TransCorr LLC.

The Kraft Group, headquartered in Foxborough, Mass., is the holding company for the Kraft family's various businesses, which include major packaging manufacturers and the New England Patriots football team.

"We have been working together in the paper and packaging industry for decades and we have never been more optimistic about the direction of the industry than we are currently," Schwarz Partners and Kraft Group said in a joint statement. "This investment represents a generational commitment by both families to the industry."

International Paper also is selling a former Temple-Inland mill in New Johnsonville, Tenn., to Hood Cos., a private Hattiesburg, Miss.-based company.

The DOJ must approve the sales before they can be completed.

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