International Paper spinning off printing papers business: What analysts are saying

By / Max Garland, Memphis Commercial Appeal

International Paper spinning off its printing papers business frees it from an industry in decline, while the new paper company could become an acquisition target, analysts say.

The Memphis-based company announced the spinoff plan Thursday, which would leave it with its packaging and global cellulose fibers segments. The move is expected to be completed in the third quarter of 2021.

Steve Chercover, senior research analyst at D.A. Davidson, said in a note the move will allow IP to focus on its businesses that have “good industry structure and long-term demand growth.” International Paper’s packaging segment has gotten a boost from more people shopping online during the COVID-19 pandemic.