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Rating Action:

MOODY'S PLACES INTERNATIONAL PAPERS' DEBT RATINGS ON REVIEW FOR POSSIBLE DOWNGRADE FOLLOWING ANNOUNCEMENT OF PENDING BUSINESS TRANSFORMATION

20 Jul 2005
MOODY'S PLACES INTERNATIONAL PAPERS' DEBT RATINGS ON REVIEW FOR POSSIBLE DOWNGRADE FOLLOWING ANNOUNCEMENT OF PENDING BUSINESS TRANSFORMATION

Approximately $12.6 billion of rated debt instruments affected

Toronto, July 20, 2005 -- Moody's Investors Service ("Moody's") placed International Paper Company's ratings on review for possible downgrade. The rating action follows an announcement by International Paper Company ("IP") of an ambitious "transformation" of its business that contemplates significant changes being implemented over a 2-to-3 year period. Over the recent past, IP's financial performance and credit protection metrics have significantly lagged the targets outlined by Moody's as being appropriate for the existing rating (a minimum retained cash flow to total debt of 20% and free cash flow to total debt of 10%; both considered as median ratios of through the cycle performance in the context for a company with significant latent asset value). It being acknowledged that IP has signaled a commitment to maintaining an investment grade rating and the transformation contemplates debt reduction, there is the possibility that results will continue to lag the relevant metrics when the "transformation" is complete. In order to fully consider the matter, Moody's will look to clarify and review: the company's plans with respect to establishing an appropriate capital structure and dividend policy; asset divestiture plans; plans to achieve cost savings; growth imperatives and acquisition parameters; liquidity planning; and details on how the "core" businesses will be positioned and operated. Moody's expects this review to be completed within 90 days. Moody's expects that ratings will continue to be investment grade following completion of the review.

Ratings placed on review for possible downgrade:

International Paper Company:

Senior Unsecured Baa2

Subordinate Shelf (P)Baa3

Preferred Shelf (P)Ba1

Commercial Paper P-2

International Paper Capital Trust II:

Bkd Preferred Stock Baa3

International Paper Capital Trust III:

Bkd Preferred Shelf Baa3

International Paper Capital Trust IV:

Bkd Preferred Shelf (P) Ba1

International Paper Capital Trust VI:

Bkd Preferred Shelf (P) Ba1

Champion International Corporation:

Senior Unsecured Baa2

Federal Paper Board Co., Inc.

Senior Unsecured Baa2

Union Camp Corporation:

Senior Unsecured Baa2

International Paper Company, headquartered in Stamford, CT, is a worldwide producer of printing papers, packaging, and forest products.

New York
Mark Gray
Managing Director
Corporate Finance Group
Moody's Investors Service
JOURNALISTS: 212-553-0376
SUBSCRIBERS: 212-553-1653

Toronto
William Wolfe
Vice President - Senior Analyst
Corporate Finance Group
Moody's Canada Inc.
(416) 214-1635

No Related Data.
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