Grupo Gondi and WestRock Form Joint Venture in Mexico

MEXICO, DF and NORCROSS, Ga., Oct. 12, 2015 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Grupo Gondi and WestRock (NYSE:WRK) have agreed to combine their operations in Mexico to form a joint venture, creating a leading paper and packaging company in the country.

Grupo Gondi currently operates ten production sites that hold six paper machines, seven corrugated packaging plants and four modern high graphic folding carton plants with pre-printing capacity.

WestRock, one of the world's leading companies in the paper and packaging industry, operates three facilities in Mexico that produce corrugated packaging. WestRock will contribute these facilities, located in Mexicali, Monterrey and Querétaro, and cash to the joint venture in exchange for a 25 percent equity participation in the combined entity, which will operate as Grupo Gondi.

As the majority shareholder, the Grupo Gondi senior management team, led by Eduardo Posada, will manage the joint venture, and WestRock will provide technical and commercial resources to the combination. The business will employ 6,800 people.

"This joint venture expands Grupo Gondi's ability to serve our customers across Mexico, with state-of-the-art technology and enhanced capabilities in packaging options in paper, corrugated, folding cartons and preprint," said Eduardo Posada, chief executive officer, Grupo Gondi. "We have a demonstrated ability to provide outstanding service and innovation for our customers, and this joint venture enables us to continue to grow and expand our national presence."

"Grupo Gondi is finally fulfilling its dream to joint venture with a partner like WestRock and continue to strengthen its position of being the best packaging option in the market. We are very excited about the possibilities of growing the business together," said Alejandro González Cimadevilla, Grupo Gondi's president and chairman of the board.

"Grupo Gondi shares our enthusiasm for growth opportunities in Mexico and for manufacturing the highest-quality packaging solutions for our customers," said Steve Voorhees, chief executive officer, WestRock. "We are confident in the leadership of this new venture and in our ability to maximize the benefits of this partnership to grow and expand our business in Mexico."

The joint venture will be implemented as soon as the transaction is formally approved by Mexico's Antitrust Authority, the Comisión Federal de Competencia Económica (COFECE).

Forward-looking Statements

This release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Forward-looking statements are typically identified by words or phrases such as "may," "will," "could," "should," "would," "anticipate," "estimate," "expect," "project," "intend," "plan," "believe," "target," "prospects," "potential" and "forecast," and other words, terms and phrases of similar meaning. Forward-looking statements involve estimates, expectations, projections, goals, forecasts, assumptions, risks and uncertainties.

WestRock cautions readers that a forward-looking statement is not a guarantee of future performance and that actual results could differ materially from those contained in the forward-looking statement. Such forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to, statements regarding, among other things, our expectation that the joint venture will enable Grupo Gondi to continue to grow and expand its national presence; our confidence in our ability to maximize the benefits of this partnership to grow and expand our business in Mexico; and our expectation that the joint venture will be consummated. With respect to these statements, WestRock and Grupo Gondi have made assumptions regarding, among other things, the results and impact of the joint venture; economic, competitive and market conditions in Mexico generally; volumes and price levels of purchases by customers; competitive conditions in the joint venture's businesses and possible adverse actions of their customers, competitors and suppliers. Further, WestRock's and Grupo Gondi's businesses are subject to a number of general risks that would affect any such forward-looking statements including, among others, decreases in demand for their products; increases in energy, raw materials, shipping and capital equipment costs; reduced supply of raw materials; fluctuations in selling prices and volumes; intense competition; the potential loss of certain customers; the scope, costs, timing and impact of any restructuring of our operations and corporate and tax structure; the occurrence of a natural disaster, such as a hurricane, tropical storm, earthquake, tornado, flood, fire, or other unanticipated problems such as labor difficulties, equipment failure or unscheduled maintenance and repair, which could result in operational disruptions of varied duration; our desire or ability to continue to repurchase company stock; and adverse changes in general market and industry conditions. The information contained herein speaks as of the date hereof and WestRock does not have or undertake any obligation to update or revise its forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.

About Grupo Gondi

Grupo Gondi is one of the leading paper packaging suppliers in the Mexican market, with 10 plants in Mexico, supplying innovative paper packaging solutions to over 650 customers. Learn more about Grupo Gondi at

About WestRock

WestRock Company (NYSE:WRK) aspires to be the premier partner and unrivaled provider of paper and packaging solutions in consumer and corrugated markets. WestRock's 42,000 team members support customers around the world from approximately 275 operating and business locations spanning North America, South America, Europe and Asia. Learn more at

Grupo Gondi Contacts

Francisco Rodriguez
Chief Financial Officer
52 55 52496020

Mauricio Monjardin
Commercial Director
52 55 52496025

WestRock Contacts

John Stakel
Senior Vice President, Treasurer

Jason Thompson
Director, Investor Relations

Tucker McNeil
Director, Corporate Communications

Source:WestRock Company