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Merger to have little effect at James River

August 15, 1997

By LISA GRAYBEAL

Staff Writer, Chambersburg

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. - The sign in front of James River Corp. on Wayne Avenue will soon be removed and replaced with one bearing a different name.

But company officials say that's probably the biggest impact that Chambersburg's paperboard packaging plant will see, even though the well-known company merged Wednesday with Green Bay, Wisconsin-based Fort Howard to become Fort James Corp.

"Chambersburg is part of our packaging business. Fort Howard didn't have any packaging plants. So the packaging business that was part of James River will continue to operate just the way it had before as part of Fort James. So there will be very little impact," said Dick Elder, spokesperson for Fort James at its Richmond, Va., headquarters.

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The Chambersburg plant, which opened in 1961, employs 330 people, according to Doris Leberknight, human resources coordinator.

"We are very excited to be part of Fort Howard," Leberknight said, adding that the merger will enable the company to grow.

Fort Howard employees work under a contract and there are no anticipated changes for the workforce, Leberknight said.

James River Corp. stockholders approved the merger of the two companies on Tuesday.

The company ranks among the top international consumer products companies with annual sales exceeding $7 billion.

Besides paper packaging materials, the company makes other paper products under popular brand-names such as Quilted Northern, Brawny, Dixie, and Mardi Gras.

The company also manufactures paper products in Europe.

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