WestRock Co. CEO Steve Voorhees told investors Friday that the company’s $4.9 billion merger with KapStone Paper and Packaging Co. is still on track despite extra scrutiny from the U.S. Department of Justice.
The reassurance comes after both companies reported in financial filings last month that DOJ has requested additional information about the deal under federal antitrust laws.
“That’s normal course,” Voorhees said on a second-quarter earnings call.
Norcross, Ga.-based WestRock and Northbrook, Ill.-based KapStone signed an acquisition agreement on Jan. 28. The merger would combine the nation’s second-largest and fifth-largest paper and packaging companies. The deal is subject to approval by federal regulators, and it could be approved with certain conditions. KapStone shareholders also need to sign off on the merger.
With roughly 800 union workers at the Longview paper mill, KapStone is one of the area’s biggest employers. Analysists have said they don’t expect the deal to immediately affect Longview operations, although WestRock could eventually make some workforce changes as the company seeks to streamline operations.