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Why International Paper (IP) Stock Is Up Today

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Shares of International Paper Co. (IP - Get Report) were gaining 5.9% to $43.52 on Friday after the pulp and paper company announced plans to exit its Chinese coated board joint venture.

International Paper said it will sell its 55% equity in the joint venture to Shandong Sun Holding Group for RMB 149 million (about $23 million) in cash. The company said it will remove about $400 million of outstanding debt from its balance sheet following the acquisition.

The paper company said it is also pursuing strategic options for its corrugated box business in China and South East Asia, and that it signed a non-binding letter of intent with a potential Chinese buyer.

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"International Paper undertook a thorough review of its position in serving the Chinese and Asian markets," Chairman and CEO Mark Sutton said in a statement. "The company remains committed to serving these very important markets, but concluded we could be more effective supplying this region with globally competitive products primarily through our Ilim joint venture in Russia and from the U.S."

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