WestRock to cut 260 jobs next year as it reconfigures a South Carolina paper mill

WestRock Co. WRK, +0.54% said Monday it expects cut 260 jobs as it shuts down one of three paper machines as part of a reconfiguration of its North Charleston, South Carolina paper mill. The job cuts are expected over a five-month period, starting in January 2020. The reconfiguration will eliminate about 288,000 tons of linerboard capacity, leaving production capacity of 605,000 tons a year. The move is part of the company’s effort to improve the mill’s operating efficiency and competitiveness over the long term, and is expected to increase annual earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) by about $40 million. “Reducing the production of linerboard at this mill will help balance our supply with customer demand across our system,” said Chief Executive Steve Voorhees. The stock, which was still inactive in premarket trading, has lost 7.0% year to date, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average DJIA, +0.26% has gained 14.9%.

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