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Temple-Inland plans to separate into 3 companies

February 27, 2007|From the Associated Press

AUSTIN, TEXAS — Temple-Inland Inc. -- a packaging, forest products, real estate and financial services company -- said Monday that it planned to separate itself into three stand-alone public companies and sell its timberlands.

Billionaire investor Carl Icahn, who acquired a 6.7% stake in Temple-Inland in January, had advocated breaking up the company. He released a statement Monday saying he was pleased with the decision and would no longer pursue a plan to nominate new board members.

"Temple-Inland's management and board of directors should be commended for listening to the concerns that we and other shareholders have expressed and for announcing plans to take the actions we suggested," Icahn said.

Temple-Inland shares gained $7.06, or 13%, to $62.01.

As part of the breakup, Temple-Inland will retain its corrugated-packaging and building-products operations, which made up three-quarters of the company's $5.6 billion in 2006 revenue. The company will spin off its $1.2-billion financial services business, which owns Guaranty Bank in Texas and California, and its $175-million real estate unit, which operates as Forestar Real Estate Group.

"Each of the three public companies -- manufacturing, financial services and real estate -- will be well positioned in the marketplace, have an appropriate capital structure and will benefit from greater strategic focus," said Kenneth M. Jastrow II, chairman and chief executive.

Temple-Inland also plans to sell off 1.8 million acres of timberland in Texas, Louisiana, Alabama and Georgia.

Financial terms of the Temple spinoffs and property sales have not been determined, the company said.

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