10-K
Smurfit WestRock plc
Download
SEC Document
SEC Filing
falseFY0001732845--09-30http://fasb.org/us-gaap/2023#NetPeriodicDefinedBenefitsExpenseReversalOfExpenseExcludingServiceCostComponenthttp://fasb.org/us-gaap/2023#NetPeriodicDefinedBenefitsExpenseReversalOfExpenseExcludingServiceCostComponenthttp://fasb.org/us-gaap/2023#NetPeriodicDefinedBenefitsExpenseReversalOfExpenseExcludingServiceCostComponenthttp://fasb.org/us-gaap/2023#NetPeriodicDefinedBenefitsExpenseReversalOfExpenseExcludingServiceCostComponenthttp://fasb.org/us-gaap/2023#NetPeriodicDefinedBenefitsExpenseReversalOfExpenseExcludingServiceCostComponenthttp://fasb.org/us-gaap/2023#NetPeriodicDefinedBenefitsExpenseReversalOfExpenseExcludingServiceCostComponenthttp://fasb.org/us-gaap/2023#NetPeriodicDefinedBenefitsExpenseReversalOfExpenseExcludingServiceCostComponenthttp://fasb.org/us-gaap/2023#NetPeriodicDefinedBenefitsExpenseReversalOfExpenseExcludingServiceCostComponenthttp://fasb.org/us-gaap/2023#NetPeriodicDefinedBenefitsExpenseReversalOfExpenseExcludingServiceCostComponenthttp://fasb.org/us-gaap/2023#NetPeriodicDefinedBenefitsExpenseReversalOfExpenseExcludingServiceCostComponenthttp://fasb.org/us-gaap/2023#NetPeriodicDefinedBenefitsExpenseReversalOfExpenseExcludingServiceCostComponenthttp://fasb.org/us-gaap/2023#NetPeriodicDefinedBenefitsExpenseReversalOfExpenseExcludingServiceCostComponent2031-09-302024-09-302042-09-302024-09-302042-09-30http://fasb.org/us-gaap/2023#OtherAssetsNoncurrenthttp://fasb.org/us-gaap/2023#OtherAssetsNoncurrenthttp://fasb.org/us-gaap/2023#OtherLiabilitiesCurrenthttp://fasb.org/us-gaap/2023#OtherLiabilitiesCurrenthttp://fasb.org/us-gaap/2023#OtherLiabilitiesNoncurrenthttp://fasb.org/us-gaap/2023#OtherLiabilitiesNoncurrenthttp://fasb.org/us-gaap/2023#DebtCurrenthttp://fasb.org/us-gaap/2023#DebtCurrenthttp://fasb.org/us-gaap/2023#LongTermDebtAndCapitalLeaseObligationshttp://fasb.org/us-gaap/2023#LongTermDebtAndCapitalLeaseObligationshttp://fasb.org/us-gaap/2023#OtherLiabilitiesCurrenthttp://fasb.org/us-gaap/2023#OtherLiabilitiesCurrenthttp://fasb.org/us-gaap/2023#OtherAssetsCurrenthttp://fasb.org/us-gaap/2023#CostOfGoodsAndServicesSoldhttp://fasb.org/us-gaap/2023#CostOfGoodsAndServicesSoldhttp://fasb.org/us-gaap/2023#InterestIncomeExpenseNonoperatingNethttp://fasb.org/us-gaap/2023#OtherLiabilitiesNoncurrenthttp://fasb.org/us-gaap/2023#OtherLiabilitiesCurrent0001732845srt:RestatementAdjustmentMember2021-10-012022-09-300001732845srt:LatinAmericaMember2022-10-012023-09-300001732845wrk:MeadWestvacoMemberwrk:TimberNoteTwoMember2013-12-060001732845srt:MaximumMemberus-gaap:ForeignCountryMember2022-10-012023-09-300001732845us-gaap:OperatingSegmentsMembercountry:CAwrk:GlobalPaperMember2020-10-012021-09-300001732845us-gaap:FixedIncomeFundsMemberus-gaap:PensionPlansDefinedBenefitMemberus-gaap:ForeignPlanMember2023-09-300001732845us-gaap:PensionPlansDefinedBenefitMembercountry:US2023-09-300001732845srt:MinimumMember2022-10-012023-09-300001732845wrk:DisplaysJointVentureMember2022-10-012023-09-300001732845wrk:SeniorUnsecuredDebtMemberwrk:FarmCreditFacilityMember2022-09-300001732845us-gaap:AccumulatedDefinedBenefitPlansAdjustmentMember2022-09-300001732845us-gaap:CommonStockMember2021-10-012022-09-300001732845us-gaap:DesignatedAsHedgingInstrumentMemberus-gaap:CashFlowHedgingMemberwrk:NaturalGasCommodityHedgeMember2022-10-012023-09-300001732845us-gaap:IntersegmentEliminationMember2022-10-012023-09-300001732845wrk:BrazilExportCreditNoteMemberus-gaap:UnsecuredDebtMember2023-09-300001732845country:CAus-gaap:IntersegmentEliminationMember2020-10-012021-09-300001732845us-gaap:EMEAMember2023-09-300001732845wrk:LegacyReportableCorrugatedPackagingSegmentMember2020-10-012021-09-3000017328452023-09-300001732845wrk:MulticurrencyRevolvingFacilityMemberwrk:SeniorUnsecuredDebtMember2022-07-070001732845us-gaap:OperatingSegmentsMemberwrk:CorrugatedPackagingMembercountry:US2021-10-012022-09-300001732845us-gaap:AllowanceForCreditLossMember2021-09-300001732845wrk:PackagingEquipmentLeasedToCustomersMember2022-10-012023-09-300001732845wrk:CorrugatedPackagingMember2021-10-012022-09-300001732845wrk:NewReportableGlobalPaperSegmentMember2022-10-012023-09-300001732845us-gaap:PensionPlansDefinedBenefitMembercountry:US2022-09-300001732845us-gaap:OperatingSegmentsMemberwrk:CorrugatedPackagingMember2020-10-012021-09-300001732845us-gaap:DisposalGroupHeldforsaleNotDiscontinuedOperationsMember2021-09-300001732845us-gaap:StateAndLocalJurisdictionMember2022-09-300001732845wrk:TimberNotesMemberwrk:RockTennCompanyAndMeadwestvacoCorporationsMember2022-09-300001732845wrk:OtherCostsRelatedToRestructuringAndOtherCostsMemberwrk:ConsumerPackagingMember2020-10-012021-09-300001732845wrk:BrazilExportCreditNoteMemberus-gaap:UnsecuredDebtMember2021-01-182021-01-180001732845us-gaap:ForeignPlanMemberus-gaap:OtherPostretirementBenefitPlansDefinedBenefitMember2021-09-300001732845us-gaap:LicensingAgreementsMember2023-09-300001732845wrk:BrazilIndirectTaxClaimMember2022-10-012023-09-300001732845us-gaap:PensionPlansDefinedBenefitMemberus-gaap:EquitySecuritiesMembercountry:US2023-09-300001732845us-gaap:OperatingSegmentsMemberwrk:DistributionSegmentMembercountry:CA2022-10-012023-09-300001732845us-gaap:OperatingSegmentsMembercountry:CAwrk:ConsumerPackagingMember2021-10-012022-09-300001732845us-gaap:CommonStockMember2021-09-300001732845srt:MinimumMemberus-gaap:LeaseholdImprovementsMember2023-09-300001732845us-gaap:AccumulatedOtherComprehensiveIncomeMember2021-09-300001732845us-gaap:PensionPlansDefinedBenefitMember2022-10-012023-09-300001732845srt:LatinAmericaMemberus-gaap:IntersegmentEliminationMember2022-10-012023-09-300001732845srt:LatinAmericaMemberus-gaap:IntersegmentEliminationMember2021-10-012022-09-300001732845us-gaap:EmployeeSeveranceMemberwrk:ConsumerPackagingMember2022-10-012023-09-300001732845us-gaap:EmployeeSeveranceMemberwrk:CorrugatedPackagingMember2021-10-012022-09-300001732845wrk:MexicoAcquisitionMember2022-10-012023-09-300001732845us-gaap:OperatingSegmentsMembercountry:CAwrk:ConsumerPackagingMember2022-10-012023-09-300001732845us-gaap:AccumulatedGainLossNetCashFlowHedgeParentMember2023-09-300001732845us-gaap:SegmentContinuingOperationsMember2022-10-012023-09-300001732845wrk:RestrictedStockWithServiceConditionMember2021-10-012022-09-300001732845wrk:AmendedAndRestatedTwoThousandSixteenIncentiveStockPlanMember2018-02-020001732845us-gaap:FixedIncomeSecuritiesMember2023-09-300001732845wrk:PackagingEquipmentLeasedToCustomersMember2020-10-012021-09-300001732845country:US2022-09-300001732845us-gaap:OtherPostretirementBenefitPlansDefinedBenefitMember2020-10-012021-09-300001732845us-gaap:OperatingSegmentsMemberwrk:UnaffiliatedCustomersMemberwrk:GlobalPaperMember2020-10-012021-09-300001732845us-gaap:ParentMemberwrk:NaturalGasCommodityHedgeMember2022-10-012023-09-300001732845country:CA2023-09-300001732845us-gaap:PensionPlansDefinedBenefitMemberus-gaap:ForeignPlanMember2020-10-012021-09-300001732845us-gaap:OperatingSegmentsMemberwrk:CorrugatedPackagingMembercountry:US2022-10-012023-09-300001732845us-gaap:AccumulatedTranslationAdjustmentMember2021-10-012022-09-300001732845wrk:CorrugatedPackagingMemberus-gaap:IntersegmentEliminationMember2020-10-012021-09-300001732845srt:MaximumMemberus-gaap:UnsecuredDebtMemberus-gaap:CommercialPaperMember2018-12-062018-12-070001732845us-gaap:OperatingSegmentsMember2021-10-012022-09-300001732845wrk:GlobalPaperMember2021-10-012022-09-300001732845us-gaap:OtherIntangibleAssetsMember2022-09-300001732845wrk:PublicBondObligationsMember2023-09-300001732845us-gaap:AdditionalPaidInCapitalMember2021-10-012022-09-300001732845us-gaap:NoncontrollingInterestMember2022-10-012023-09-300001732845us-gaap:FairValueInputsLevel2Memberus-gaap:USGovernmentDebtSecuritiesMemberus-gaap:FairValueMeasurementsRecurringMember2022-09-300001732845wrk:RestrictedStockServiceConditionAndAReturnOnInvestedCapitalPerformanceConditionAtTargetMember2022-10-012023-09-300001732845wrk:LegacyReportableConsumerPackagingSegmentMember2021-09-3000017328452023-07-012023-09-300001732845us-gaap:RevolvingCreditFacilityMemberus-gaap:SecuredOvernightFinancingRateSofrOvernightIndexSwapRateMemberwrk:SeniorUnsecuredDebtMember2022-07-072022-07-070001732845wrk:NewReportableDistributionSegmentMember2021-10-012022-09-300001732845wrk:OtherCostsRelatedToRestructuringAndOtherCostsMemberwrk:GlobalPaperMember2021-10-012022-09-300001732845srt:MaximumMemberus-gaap:LeaseholdImprovementsMember2023-09-300001732845srt:MaximumMemberus-gaap:StateAndLocalJurisdictionMember2022-10-012023-09-300001732845us-gaap:CorporateNonSegmentMemberwrk:OtherCostsRelatedToRestructuringAndOtherCostsMember2022-10-012023-09-300001732845wrk:NewReportableConsumerPackagingSegmentMember2022-10-012023-09-300001732845us-gaap:OtherPostretirementBenefitPlansDefinedBenefitMembercountry:US2021-10-012022-09-3000017328452023-03-310001732845us-gaap:OperatingSegmentsMemberwrk:UnaffiliatedCustomersMemberwrk:CorrugatedPackagingMember2020-10-012021-09-300001732845us-gaap:AccumulatedGainLossNetCashFlowHedgeParentMember2022-10-012023-09-300001732845wrk:OtherCostsRelatedToRestructuringAndOtherCostsMemberwrk:CorrugatedPackagingMember2022-10-012023-09-300001732845srt:MinimumMemberus-gaap:BuildingAndBuildingImprovementsMember2023-09-300001732845us-gaap:RetainedEarningsMember2020-10-012021-09-300001732845country:US2021-09-300001732845us-gaap:EmployeeSeveranceMember2022-10-012023-09-300001732845wrk:RestrictedStockTargetAwardsMember2022-10-012023-09-300001732845us-gaap:EmployeeSeveranceMemberwrk:GlobalPaperMember2021-10-012022-09-300001732845us-gaap:FairValueInputsLevel2Memberwrk:OtherFixedIncomeSecuritiesMemberus-gaap:FairValueMeasurementsRecurringMember2022-09-300001732845us-gaap:ForeignGovernmentDebtSecuritiesMemberus-gaap:FairValueMeasurementsRecurringMember2022-09-300001732845srt:MinimumMember2020-10-012021-09-300001732845us-gaap:OtherPensionPlansPostretirementOrSupplementalPlansDefinedBenefitMember2023-09-300001732845us-gaap:ShortTermInvestmentsMemberus-gaap:PensionPlansDefinedBenefitMembercountry:US2022-09-300001732845wrk:NotesDueFiscal2029To2033Memberus-gaap:UnsecuredDebtMember2023-09-300001732845us-gaap:PensionPlansDefinedBenefitMemberus-gaap:ForeignPlanMemberus-gaap:EquitySecuritiesMember2022-09-300001732845wrk:UsEquitySecuritiesMemberus-gaap:FairValueInputsLevel1Memberus-gaap:FairValueMeasurementsRecurringMember2022-09-300001732845wrk:EuropeanRevolvingCreditFacilityMemberwrk:SeniorUnsecuredDebtMember2022-07-070001732845us-gaap:OperatingSegmentsMemberus-gaap:EMEAMemberwrk:GlobalPaperMember2022-10-012023-09-300001732845us-gaap:OperatingSegmentsMemberus-gaap:EMEAMemberwrk:GlobalPaperMember2020-10-012021-09-300001732845us-gaap:IntersegmentEliminationMemberwrk:GlobalPaperMember2022-10-012023-09-300001732845wrk:PaceIndustryUnionManagementPensionFundMember2019-09-012019-09-300001732845wrk:OtherCostsRelatedToRestructuringAndOtherCostsMemberwrk:GlobalPaperMember2020-10-012021-09-300001732845wrk:ThreePointZeroZeroPercentageSeniorNotesDueSeptemberTwoThousandTwentyFourMember2023-09-222023-09-220001732845country:CA2020-10-012021-09-300001732845us-gaap:OperatingSegmentsMembersrt:LatinAmericaMemberwrk:ConsumerPackagingMember2022-10-012023-09-300001732845wrk:CorrugatedPackagingMemberwrk:PropertyPlantAndEquipmentAndRelatedCostsMember2023-09-300001732845wrk:InternationalAndOtherDebtMember2022-09-300001732845us-gaap:OtherPostretirementBenefitPlansDefinedBenefitMembercountry:US2022-10-012023-09-300001732845us-gaap:OperatingSegmentsMembercountry:CAwrk:ConsumerPackagingMember2020-10-012021-09-300001732845srt:MaximumMemberus-gaap:FixedIncomeSecuritiesMember2022-10-012023-09-300001732845us-gaap:UnsecuredDebtMemberwrk:DelayedDrawTermFacilityMember2022-08-180001732845us-gaap:BaseRateMembersrt:MinimumMemberwrk:EuropeanRevolvingCreditFacilityMemberwrk:SeniorUnsecuredDebtMember2022-07-072022-07-070001732845us-gaap:LeaseholdImprovementsMember2022-09-300001732845us-gaap:AllowanceForCreditLossMember2021-10-012022-09-300001732845us-gaap:SegmentContinuingOperationsMember2021-10-012022-09-300001732845wrk:ReceivablesSecuritizationFacilityMemberus-gaap:SecuredDebtMember2023-09-300001732845us-gaap:FairValueInputsLevel2Memberwrk:NonrecourseLiabilitiesMember2022-09-300001732845us-gaap:OperatingSegmentsMemberwrk:CorrugatedPackagingMembercountry:CA2021-10-012022-09-300001732845us-gaap:OperatingSegmentsMemberwrk:CorrugatedPackagingMembercountry:CA2022-10-012023-09-300001732845us-gaap:CorporateNonSegmentMemberus-gaap:EmployeeSeveranceMember2021-10-012022-09-300001732845us-gaap:AccumulatedDefinedBenefitPlansAdjustmentMember2022-10-012023-09-300001732845us-gaap:FairValueInputsLevel2Memberus-gaap:DomesticCorporateDebtSecuritiesMemberus-gaap:FairValueMeasurementsRecurringMember2023-09-300001732845wrk:SeniorUnsecuredDebtMemberwrk:FarmCreditFacilityMember2022-07-070001732845srt:MaximumMemberus-gaap:HedgeFundsMember2022-10-012023-09-300001732845us-gaap:ParentMember2022-10-012023-09-300001732845wrk:OtherCostsRelatedToRestructuringAndOtherCostsMemberwrk:DistributionSegmentMember2022-10-012023-09-300001732845srt:MaximumMember2020-10-012021-09-300001732845us-gaap:EmployeeSeveranceMemberwrk:CorrugatedPackagingMember2023-09-300001732845srt:AffiliatedEntityMember2021-10-012022-09-300001732845us-gaap:LandAndBuildingMember2023-09-300001732845us-gaap:IntersegmentEliminationMemberwrk:ConsumerPackagingMember2020-10-012021-09-300001732845us-gaap:OperatingSegmentsMembercountry:USwrk:GlobalPaperMember2020-10-012021-09-300001732845wrk:RestrictedStockNonEmployeeDirectorsMember2020-10-012021-09-300001732845us-gaap:OtherPostretirementBenefitPlansDefinedBenefitMember2022-10-012023-09-300001732845us-gaap:CommonStockMember2023-09-300001732845wrk:OtherCostsRelatedToRestructuringAndOtherCostsMemberwrk:ConsumerPackagingMember2021-10-012022-09-300001732845us-gaap:CorporateMember2021-10-012022-09-300001732845us-gaap:RetainedEarningsMember2020-09-300001732845us-gaap:AccumulatedOtherComprehensiveIncomeMember2020-09-300001732845wrk:RestrictedStockServiceConditionandRelativeTotalShareholderReturnMarketConditionatTargetMemberMember2022-10-012023-09-300001732845us-gaap:FairValueInputsLevel2Memberus-gaap:ForeignCorporateDebtSecuritiesMemberus-gaap:FairValueMeasurementsRecurringMember2023-09-300001732845us-gaap:CorporateNonSegmentMemberwrk:PropertyPlantAndEquipmentAndRelatedCostsMember2020-10-012021-09-300001732845us-gaap:CorporateNonSegmentMember2020-10-012021-09-300001732845wrk:ForestlandsMember2022-09-300001732845us-gaap:AccumulatedOtherComprehensiveIncomeMember2022-10-012023-09-300001732845wrk:RestrictedStockServiceConditionandAndAnEarningsPerSharePerformanceConditionAtTargetMember2022-10-012023-09-300001732845us-gaap:OperatingSegmentsMemberus-gaap:EMEAMemberwrk:ConsumerPackagingMember2020-10-012021-09-300001732845wrk:RevolvingCreditAndSwingFacilitiesMemberus-gaap:UnsecuredDebtMember2022-09-300001732845srt:MinimumMember2023-07-012023-09-300001732845srt:MinimumMemberus-gaap:RevolvingCreditFacilityMemberwrk:SeniorUnsecuredDebtMemberwrk:SterlingOvernightIndexAverageMember2022-07-072022-07-070001732845us-gaap:MiningPropertiesAndMineralRightsMember2021-10-012022-09-300001732845wrk:PropertyPlantAndEquipmentAndRelatedCostsMemberwrk:ConsumerPackagingMember2023-09-300001732845wrk:DistributionSegmentMember2021-09-300001732845wrk:EuropeanRevolvingCreditFacilityMemberwrk:SeniorUnsecuredDebtMember2023-09-300001732845us-gaap:CommonStockMember2020-10-012021-09-300001732845us-gaap:PensionPlansDefinedBenefitMemberus-gaap:ForeignPlanMember2023-09-300001732845wrk:AccountingStandardUpdate202004Member2023-09-300001732845us-gaap:RestrictedStockMember2022-10-012023-09-300001732845wrk:BrazilAdministrativeCouncilOfTaxAppealsMember2023-09-300001732845us-gaap:OperatingSegmentsMembersrt:AsiaPacificMemberwrk:ConsumerPackagingMember2022-10-012023-09-300001732845us-gaap:OperatingSegmentsMembercountry:USwrk:ConsumerPackagingMember2022-10-012023-09-300001732845us-gaap:CommonStockMember2020-10-012021-09-300001732845us-gaap:BaseRateMembersrt:MinimumMemberus-gaap:UnsecuredDebtMemberwrk:DelayedDrawTermFacilityMember2022-08-182022-08-180001732845wrk:PropertyPlantAndEquipmentAndRelatedCostsMemberwrk:GlobalPaperMember2022-10-012023-09-300001732845wrk:NewReportableGlobalPaperSegmentMember2023-09-300001732845us-gaap:OperatingSegmentsMemberwrk:UnaffiliatedCustomersMemberwrk:GlobalPaperMember2021-10-012022-09-300001732845wrk:VendorFinancingAndCommercialCardProgramsMemberwrk:ShortTermUnsecuredDebtMember2022-09-300001732845country:MX2023-09-300001732845wrk:PaceIndustryUnionManagementPensionFundMember2020-02-290001732845wrk:DistributionSegmentMember2021-10-012022-09-300001732845wrk:OtherCostsRelatedToRestructuringAndOtherCostsMemberwrk:DistributionSegmentMember2023-09-300001732845wrk:TransactionAgreementWithSmurfitKappaMember2022-10-012023-09-300001732845us-gaap:OperatingSegmentsMemberwrk:DistributionSegmentMembercountry:US2020-10-012021-09-300001732845wrk:RevolvingCreditAndSwingFacilitiesMemberus-gaap:UnsecuredDebtMember2023-09-300001732845us-gaap:EmployeeSeveranceMemberwrk:GlobalPaperMember2023-09-300001732845wrk:MexicoAcquisitionMember2022-12-012022-12-010001732845us-gaap:ParentMemberwrk:NaturalGasCommodityHedgeMember2021-10-012022-09-300001732845us-gaap:CorporateNonSegmentMember2023-09-300001732845wrk:FourPointNineZeroZeroPercentageSeniorNotesDueMarchTwoThousandTwentyTwoMember2021-09-100001732845srt:LatinAmericaMemberus-gaap:IntersegmentEliminationMember2020-10-012021-09-300001732845wrk:NewReportableConsumerPackagingSegmentMember2023-09-300001732845wrk:NewReportableCorrugatedPackagingSegmentMember2022-10-012023-09-300001732845us-gaap:OperatingSegmentsMembersrt:AsiaPacificMemberwrk:ConsumerPackagingMember2021-10-012022-09-300001732845wrk:FourPointSixFiveZeroPercentageSeniorNotesDueMarchTwoThousandTwentySixMember2023-09-260001732845us-gaap:OperatingSegmentsMemberwrk:DistributionSegmentMember2022-10-012023-09-300001732845us-gaap:PensionPlansDefinedBenefitMembercountry:US2021-09-300001732845us-gaap:EmployeeStockOptionMember2021-10-012022-09-300001732845us-gaap:ConstructionInProgressMember2023-09-300001732845wrk:NewReportableConsumerPackagingSegmentMember2022-09-300001732845wrk:RestrictedStockServiceConditionandRelativeTotalShareholderReturnMarketConditionatTargetMemberMember2020-10-012021-09-300001732845wrk:RestrictedStockTotalShareholderReturnGrantMember2022-10-012023-09-300001732845wrk:DistributionSegmentMemberus-gaap:IntersegmentEliminationMember2020-10-012021-09-300001732845wrk:LegacyReportableCorrugatedPackagingSegmentMember2020-09-300001732845us-gaap:PensionPlansDefinedBenefitMembercountry:USus-gaap:OtherInvestmentsMember2023-09-300001732845us-gaap:OtherPostretirementBenefitPlansDefinedBenefitMember2021-10-012022-09-300001732845us-gaap:TransportationEquipmentMembersrt:MaximumMember2023-09-300001732845srt:MinimumMemberus-gaap:MachineryAndEquipmentMember2023-09-300001732845us-gaap:RetainedEarningsMember2022-09-300001732845us-gaap:AccumulatedTranslationAdjustmentMember2023-09-300001732845wrk:SeniorUnsecuredDebtMemberwrk:FarmCreditFacilityMember2023-09-300001732845wrk:NotesDueFiscal2037To2047Memberus-gaap:UnsecuredDebtMember2023-09-300001732845us-gaap:OperatingSegmentsMembersrt:AsiaPacificMemberwrk:ConsumerPackagingMember2020-10-012021-09-300001732845wrk:ConsumerPackagingMember2021-10-012022-09-300001732845wrk:FourPointZeroZeroZeroPercentageSeniorNotesDueMarchTwoThousandTwentyEightMember2023-09-262023-09-260001732845srt:AsiaPacificMember2022-09-300001732845us-gaap:RetainedEarningsMember2022-10-012023-09-300001732845us-gaap:CommercialPaperMember2023-09-300001732845us-gaap:ForeignCountryMember2023-09-300001732845us-gaap:OtherCurrentLiabilitiesMember2023-09-300001732845srt:MaximumMemberus-gaap:SecuredOvernightFinancingRateSofrOvernightIndexSwapRateMemberus-gaap:UnsecuredDebtMemberwrk:DelayedDrawTermFacilityMember2022-08-182022-08-180001732845srt:MaximumMember2023-09-300001732845wrk:ConsumerPackagingMember2022-10-012023-09-300001732845srt:MaximumMemberwrk:EuropeanRevolvingCreditFacilityMemberwrk:SeniorUnsecuredDebtMemberwrk:SterlingOvernightIndexAverageMember2022-07-072022-07-070001732845us-gaap:SecuredOvernightFinancingRateSofrOvernightIndexSwapRateMemberus-gaap:UnsecuredDebtMemberwrk:DelayedDrawTermFacilityMember2022-08-182022-08-180001732845wrk:FinanceLeaseObligationsMemberus-gaap:SecuredDebtMember2022-09-300001732845srt:LatinAmericaMember2021-10-012022-09-300001732845us-gaap:RetainedEarningsMember2023-09-300001732845us-gaap:RevolvingCreditFacilityMembersrt:MinimumMemberwrk:CanadianPrimeRateLoansMemberwrk:SeniorUnsecuredDebtMember2022-07-072022-07-070001732845us-gaap:OperatingSegmentsMembersrt:LatinAmericaMemberwrk:ConsumerPackagingMember2020-10-012021-09-300001732845us-gaap:NoncontrollingInterestMember2023-09-300001732845wrk:AmendedAndRestatedTwoThousandSixteenIncentiveStockPlanMember2023-09-300001732845us-gaap:OperatingSegmentsMemberus-gaap:EMEAMemberwrk:CorrugatedPackagingMember2020-10-012021-09-300001732845us-gaap:SecuredDebtMemberwrk:ReceivablesSecuritizationFacilityMember2023-02-280001732845us-gaap:FixedIncomeSecuritiesMember2022-09-300001732845us-gaap:ForeignCountryMember2022-09-300001732845us-gaap:FairValueInputsLevel2Memberus-gaap:ForeignCorporateDebtSecuritiesMemberus-gaap:FairValueMeasurementsRecurringMember2022-09-300001732845us-gaap:OperatingSegmentsMemberwrk:DistributionSegmentMember2020-10-012021-09-300001732845srt:MinimumMemberus-gaap:ForeignCountryMember2022-10-012023-09-300001732845wrk:CorrugatedPackagingMemberwrk:GondiSADeCVMember2022-10-012023-09-300001732845us-gaap:OperatingSegmentsMembercountry:CAwrk:GlobalPaperMember2022-10-012023-09-300001732845us-gaap:EmployeeSeveranceMember2020-10-012021-09-300001732845wrk:ThreePointThreeSevenFivePercentageSeniorNotesDueSeptemberTwoThousandTwentySevenMember2023-09-262023-09-260001732845wrk:RestrictedStockServiceConditionandCashFlowperSharePerformanceConditionatTargetMember2020-10-012021-09-300001732845us-gaap:OperatingSegmentsMembersrt:LatinAmericaMemberwrk:DistributionSegmentMember2022-10-012023-09-300001732845country:US2020-10-012021-09-300001732845wrk:LegacyReportableConsumerPackagingSegmentMember2020-09-300001732845wrk:ConsumerPackagingMember2023-09-300001732845wrk:GrupoGondiMember2022-12-012022-12-010001732845us-gaap:ValuationAllowanceOfDeferredTaxAssetsMember2021-09-300001732845srt:MaximumMemberus-gaap:RevolvingCreditFacilityMemberwrk:SeniorUnsecuredDebtMemberwrk:CanadianPrimeRateLoansMember2022-07-072022-07-070001732845wrk:EmployeeStockPurchasePlanMember2020-10-012021-09-300001732845us-gaap:BaseRateMembersrt:MaximumMemberus-gaap:UnsecuredDebtMemberwrk:DelayedDrawTermFacilityMember2022-08-182022-08-180001732845us-gaap:AllowanceForCreditLossMember2022-09-300001732845us-gaap:OperatingSegmentsMemberwrk:UnaffiliatedCustomersMemberwrk:ConsumerPackagingMember2021-10-012022-09-300001732845us-gaap:EmployeeSeveranceMember2023-09-300001732845us-gaap:PensionPlansDefinedBenefitMembercountry:US2020-10-012021-09-300001732845us-gaap:OperatingSegmentsMembercountry:USwrk:ConsumerPackagingMember2020-10-012021-09-300001732845wrk:VendorFinancingAndCommercialCardProgramsMemberwrk:ShortTermUnsecuredDebtMember2023-09-300001732845wrk:PropertyPlantAndEquipmentAndRelatedCostsMember2021-10-012022-09-300001732845country:USus-gaap:IntersegmentEliminationMember2021-10-012022-09-300001732845us-gaap:AccumulatedOtherComprehensiveIncomeMember2020-10-012021-09-3000017328452022-10-012023-09-300001732845wrk:LegacyReportableConsumerPackagingSegmentMember2020-10-012021-09-300001732845us-gaap:AccumulatedGainLossNetCashFlowHedgeParentMember2021-09-300001732845us-gaap:DomesticCorporateDebtSecuritiesMemberus-gaap:FairValueMeasurementsRecurringMember2023-09-300001732845country:CAus-gaap:IntersegmentEliminationMember2021-10-012022-09-300001732845us-gaap:PensionPlansDefinedBenefitMemberus-gaap:EquitySecuritiesMembercountry:US2022-09-300001732845us-gaap:CorporateMember2020-10-012021-09-300001732845wrk:LegacyReportableCorrugatedPackagingSegmentMember2021-09-300001732845wrk:NonUsEquitySecuritiesMemberus-gaap:FairValueMeasurementsRecurringMember2023-09-300001732845us-gaap:EmployeeStockOptionMember2020-10-012021-09-300001732845wrk:DistributionSegmentMember2022-10-012023-09-300001732845wrk:DistributionSegmentMember2022-09-300001732845us-gaap:LandAndBuildingMember2022-09-300001732845wrk:FourPointZeroZeroZeroPercentageSeniorNotesDueMarchTwoThousandTwentyEightMember2023-09-260001732845us-gaap:RevolvingCreditFacilityMemberwrk:SeniorUnsecuredDebtMember2023-09-300001732845us-gaap:IntersegmentEliminationMemberwrk:ConsumerPackagingMember2021-10-012022-09-300001732845us-gaap:EMEAMember2021-10-012022-09-300001732845us-gaap:AdditionalPaidInCapitalMember2022-09-300001732845us-gaap:PensionPlansDefinedBenefitMembercountry:US2022-10-012023-09-300001732845us-gaap:CorporateMember2022-10-012023-09-300001732845us-gaap:OperatingSegmentsMembersrt:LatinAmericaMemberwrk:DistributionSegmentMember2020-10-012021-09-300001732845wrk:RestrictedStockTotalShareholderReturnGrantMember2020-10-012021-09-300001732845us-gaap:LeaseholdImprovementsMember2023-09-300001732845us-gaap:EquitySecuritiesMember2022-09-300001732845srt:MinimumMemberwrk:EuropeanRevolvingCreditFacilityMemberwrk:SeniorUnsecuredDebtMemberwrk:SterlingOvernightIndexAverageMember2022-07-072022-07-070001732845srt:MaximumMemberus-gaap:MachineryAndEquipmentMember2023-09-300001732845wrk:PropertyPlantAndEquipmentAndRelatedCostsMemberwrk:GlobalPaperMember2023-09-300001732845wrk:RestrictedStockServiceConditionAndAReturnOnInvestedCapitalPerformanceConditionAtTargetMember2021-10-012022-09-300001732845us-gaap:OperatingSegmentsMemberwrk:CorrugatedPackagingMembercountry:CA2020-10-012021-09-300001732845wrk:BrazilExportCreditNoteMemberus-gaap:UnsecuredDebtMember2022-09-300001732845us-gaap:RestrictedStockMember2021-10-012022-09-300001732845us-gaap:AllowanceForCreditLossMember2023-09-300001732845us-gaap:UnsecuredDebtMemberwrk:DelayedDrawTermFacilityMember2022-08-182022-08-180001732845wrk:LegacyReportableCorrugatedPackagingSegmentMember2021-10-012022-09-300001732845us-gaap:CorporateNonSegmentMemberwrk:OtherCostsRelatedToRestructuringAndOtherCostsMember2020-10-012021-09-300001732845wrk:RestrictedStockTargetAwards2018Member2020-10-012021-09-300001732845wrk:FinanceLeaseObligationsMemberus-gaap:SecuredDebtMember2023-09-300001732845country:CA2022-10-012023-09-300001732845us-gaap:IntersegmentEliminationMembercountry:CA2022-10-012023-09-300001732845us-gaap:EMEAMember2022-10-012023-09-300001732845wrk:EmployeeStockPurchasePlanMember2023-09-300001732845wrk:ConsumerPackagingMember2022-09-300001732845us-gaap:CommonStockMember2022-09-300001732845wrk:NotesDueFiscal2037To2047Memberus-gaap:UnsecuredDebtMember2022-09-300001732845wrk:OtherCostsRelatedToRestructuringAndOtherCostsMember2020-10-012021-09-300001732845srt:AsiaPacificMember2020-10-012021-09-300001732845us-gaap:AccumulatedGainLossNetCashFlowHedgeParentMember2022-09-300001732845wrk:CorrugatedPackagingMember2023-09-300001732845us-gaap:OperatingSegmentsMemberwrk:CorrugatedPackagingMemberus-gaap:EMEAMember2022-10-012023-09-300001732845wrk:PropertyPlantAndEquipmentAndRelatedCostsMemberwrk:GlobalPaperMember2020-10-012021-09-300001732845us-gaap:PensionPlansDefinedBenefitMemberus-gaap:ForeignPlanMembersrt:ScenarioForecastMember2023-10-012024-09-300001732845us-gaap:ConstructionInProgressMember2022-09-300001732845wrk:ForestlandsMember2023-09-300001732845wrk:RestrictedStockTargetAwards2020Member2022-10-012023-09-300001732845wrk:NotesDueFiscal2024To2028Memberus-gaap:UnsecuredDebtMember2023-09-300001732845wrk:GlobalPaperMember2020-10-012021-09-300001732845us-gaap:ShortTermInvestmentsMemberus-gaap:PensionPlansDefinedBenefitMemberus-gaap:ForeignPlanMember2022-09-300001732845wrk:CorrugatedPackagingMemberwrk:PropertyPlantAndEquipmentAndRelatedCostsMember2021-10-012022-09-300001732845us-gaap:FairValueInputsLevel2Memberwrk:NonrecourseLiabilitiesMember2023-09-300001732845wrk:CorrugatedPackagingMemberus-gaap:IntersegmentEliminationMember2022-10-012023-09-300001732845wrk:PriorPlansAssumedInMergersAndAcquisitionsMember2023-09-300001732845us-gaap:PensionPlansDefinedBenefitMembercountry:US2021-10-012022-09-300001732845us-gaap:ShortTermInvestmentsMemberus-gaap:PensionPlansDefinedBenefitMembercountry:US2023-09-300001732845us-gaap:BaseRateMembersrt:MaximumMemberwrk:EuropeanRevolvingCreditFacilityMemberwrk:SeniorUnsecuredDebtMember2022-07-072022-07-070001732845wrk:NonUsEquitySecuritiesMemberus-gaap:FairValueMeasurementsRecurringMember2022-09-300001732845wrk:NewReportableCorrugatedPackagingSegmentMember2023-09-300001732845wrk:BrazilIndirectTaxClaimMember2020-10-012021-09-300001732845us-gaap:ForeignCorporateDebtSecuritiesMemberus-gaap:FairValueMeasurementsRecurringMember2023-09-300001732845us-gaap:OperatingSegmentsMemberwrk:UnaffiliatedCustomersMemberwrk:GlobalPaperMember2022-10-012023-09-300001732845us-gaap:NoncontrollingInterestMember2022-09-300001732845us-gaap:FairValueInputsLevel1Memberus-gaap:FairValueMeasurementsRecurringMember2023-09-300001732845us-gaap:OperatingSegmentsMemberus-gaap:EMEAMemberwrk:ConsumerPackagingMember2022-10-012023-09-300001732845us-gaap:OperatingSegmentsMemberwrk:DistributionSegmentMembercountry:US2022-10-012023-09-300001732845wrk:OtherCostsRelatedToRestructuringAndOtherCostsMemberwrk:CorrugatedPackagingMember2020-10-012021-09-3000017328452022-09-300001732845wrk:RestrictedStockServiceConditionandRelativeTotalShareholderReturnMarketConditionatTargetMemberMember2021-10-012022-09-300001732845wrk:TimberNotesMember2023-07-012023-09-300001732845wrk:OtherCostsRelatedToRestructuringAndOtherCostsMember2022-10-012023-09-300001732845us-gaap:EMEAMember2020-10-012021-09-300001732845us-gaap:AccountingStandardsUpdate202110Member2023-09-300001732845us-gaap:OperatingSegmentsMemberwrk:ConsumerPackagingMember2022-10-012023-09-300001732845wrk:EatonINAndAuroraILMember2022-12-012022-12-010001732845us-gaap:ForeignGovernmentDebtSecuritiesMemberus-gaap:FairValueMeasurementsRecurringMember2023-09-300001732845us-gaap:ForeignExchangeContractMember2022-09-300001732845us-gaap:AccountingStandardsUpdate202108Member2023-09-300001732845wrk:OtherCostsRelatedToRestructuringAndOtherCostsMemberwrk:ConsumerPackagingMember2022-10-012023-09-300001732845us-gaap:OperatingSegmentsMemberus-gaap:EMEAMemberwrk:CorrugatedPackagingMember2021-10-012022-09-300001732845wrk:NotesDueFiscal2024To2028Memberus-gaap:UnsecuredDebtMember2022-09-300001732845srt:MaximumMemberwrk:CostofOurMillMachineryandEquipmentwithaLifeof25YearsorLessMember2023-09-300001732845us-gaap:CorporateNonSegmentMemberwrk:OtherCostsRelatedToRestructuringAndOtherCostsMember2023-09-300001732845srt:MinimumMember2023-09-300001732845us-gaap:ShortTermInvestmentsMemberus-gaap:PensionPlansDefinedBenefitMemberus-gaap:ForeignPlanMember2023-09-300001732845us-gaap:ShortTermInvestmentsMemberus-gaap:FairValueMeasurementsRecurringMember2022-09-300001732845wrk:SeniorUnsecuredDebtMemberwrk:USRevolvingFacilityMember2022-07-070001732845country:US2023-09-300001732845us-gaap:OperatingSegmentsMemberwrk:ConsumerPackagingMember2020-10-012021-09-300001732845us-gaap:PensionPlansDefinedBenefitMemberus-gaap:ForeignPlanMember2022-09-300001732845us-gaap:RestrictedStockMember2023-09-300001732845us-gaap:TransportationEquipmentMember2022-09-300001732845country:US2021-10-012022-09-300001732845wrk:MeadWestvacoMemberwrk:TimberNoteTwoMemberwrk:SecuredFinancingLiabilityMaturityinDecember2023Member2013-12-060001732845us-gaap:OperatingSegmentsMembersrt:LatinAmericaMemberwrk:ConsumerPackagingMember2021-10-012022-09-300001732845us-gaap:OperatingSegmentsMemberwrk:GlobalPaperMember2022-10-012023-09-300001732845srt:AsiaPacificMember2021-09-300001732845us-gaap:CorporateMember2022-09-300001732845us-gaap:OperatingSegmentsMemberwrk:GlobalPaperMember2021-10-012022-09-3000017328452023-11-030001732845wrk:RestrictedStockForAnnualBonusMember2020-10-012021-09-300001732845wrk:GlobalPaperMember2023-09-300001732845us-gaap:CommonStockMemberwrk:TransactionAgreementWithSmurfitKappaMember2023-09-122023-09-120001732845us-gaap:OtherNonoperatingIncomeExpenseMemberus-gaap:NondesignatedMemberus-gaap:ForeignExchangeContractMember2022-10-012023-09-300001732845us-gaap:ValuationAllowanceOfDeferredTaxAssetsMember2022-09-300001732845wrk:CorrugatedPackagingMemberwrk:PropertyPlantAndEquipmentAndRelatedCostsMember2022-10-012023-09-300001732845us-gaap:EmployeeSeveranceMemberwrk:ConsumerPackagingMember2023-09-300001732845us-gaap:AccumulatedGainLossNetCashFlowHedgeParentMember2021-10-012022-09-300001732845wrk:TermLoanFacilitiesMemberus-gaap:UnsecuredDebtMember2023-09-3000017328452023-09-110001732845us-gaap:OperatingSegmentsMembercountry:USwrk:ConsumerPackagingMember2021-10-012022-09-300001732845srt:MaximumMemberus-gaap:BuildingAndBuildingImprovementsMember2023-09-300001732845us-gaap:ForeignPlanMemberus-gaap:OtherPostretirementBenefitPlansDefinedBenefitMember2022-09-300001732845wrk:SeniorUnsecuredDebtMemberwrk:FarmCreditFacilityMember2022-07-072022-07-070001732845wrk:OtherCostsRelatedToRestructuringAndOtherCostsMemberwrk:CorrugatedPackagingMember2021-10-012022-09-300001732845us-gaap:FairValueMeasurementsRecurringMember2023-09-300001732845us-gaap:FairValueInputsLevel1Memberus-gaap:ShortTermInvestmentsMemberus-gaap:FairValueMeasurementsRecurringMember2022-09-3000017328452020-10-012021-09-300001732845us-gaap:FairValueInputsLevel1Memberus-gaap:FairValueMeasurementsRecurringMember2022-09-300001732845wrk:TwoThousandTwentyIncentiveStockPlanMember2023-09-300001732845wrk:TermLoanFacilitiesMemberus-gaap:UnsecuredDebtMember2022-09-300001732845us-gaap:NondesignatedMemberus-gaap:ForeignExchangeContractMember2022-09-300001732845wrk:PropertyPlantAndEquipmentAndRelatedCostsMemberwrk:ConsumerPackagingMember2022-10-012023-09-300001732845us-gaap:FixedIncomeFundsMemberus-gaap:PensionPlansDefinedBenefitMemberus-gaap:ForeignPlanMember2022-09-300001732845us-gaap:OperatingSegmentsMemberwrk:DistributionSegmentMembercountry:CA2021-10-012022-09-300001732845us-gaap:EmployeeSeveranceMemberwrk:DistributionSegmentMember2023-09-300001732845wrk:ReceivablesSecuritizationFacilityMemberus-gaap:SecuredDebtMember2023-02-282023-02-280001732845wrk:PropertyPlantAndEquipmentAndRelatedCostsMember2022-10-012023-09-300001732845srt:MinimumMemberus-gaap:SecuredOvernightFinancingRateSofrOvernightIndexSwapRateMemberus-gaap:UnsecuredDebtMemberwrk:DelayedDrawTermFacilityMember2022-08-182022-08-180001732845wrk:RestrictedStockAttainmentofPerformanceConditionAtAmountInExcessofTargetMember2021-10-012022-09-300001732845country:USus-gaap:IntersegmentEliminationMember2022-10-012023-09-300001732845srt:LatinAmericaMember2021-09-300001732845wrk:BrazilDelayedDrawCreditFacilitiesMemberwrk:TerminatedMemberus-gaap:UnsecuredDebtMember2019-04-100001732845wrk:NewReportableGlobalPaperSegmentMember2022-09-300001732845wrk:EuropeanRevolvingCreditFacilityMemberus-gaap:SecuredOvernightFinancingRateSofrOvernightIndexSwapRateMemberwrk:SeniorUnsecuredDebtMember2022-07-072022-07-070001732845us-gaap:TransportationEquipmentMembersrt:MinimumMember2023-09-300001732845us-gaap:UnsecuredDebtMemberus-gaap:CommercialPaperMember2022-09-300001732845us-gaap:FairValueInputsLevel2Memberus-gaap:FairValueMeasurementsRecurringMember2023-09-300001732845wrk:FourPointNineZeroZeroPercentageSeniorNotesDueMarchTwoThousandTwentyTwoMember2021-09-102021-09-100001732845us-gaap:RevolvingCreditFacilityMemberwrk:SeniorUnsecuredDebtMember2022-07-070001732845srt:MaximumMemberwrk:MachineryAndEquipmentMillsMember2023-09-300001732845wrk:MeadWestvacoMemberwrk:SecuredFinancingLiabilityMaturityinOctober2027Member2007-12-310001732845us-gaap:EmployeeSeveranceMemberwrk:DistributionSegmentMember2022-10-012023-09-300001732845us-gaap:StateAndLocalJurisdictionMember2023-09-300001732845srt:AsiaPacificMemberus-gaap:IntersegmentEliminationMember2020-10-012021-09-300001732845us-gaap:OperatingSegmentsMember2022-10-012023-09-300001732845srt:MaximumMemberus-gaap:SecuredOvernightFinancingRateSofrOvernightIndexSwapRateMemberwrk:SeniorUnsecuredDebtMemberwrk:FarmCreditFacilityMember2022-07-072022-07-070001732845wrk:CorrugatedPackagingMember2020-10-012021-09-300001732845us-gaap:OperatingSegmentsMemberwrk:GlobalPaperMember2020-10-012021-09-300001732845us-gaap:FairValueInputsLevel2Memberus-gaap:DomesticCorporateDebtSecuritiesMemberus-gaap:FairValueMeasurementsRecurringMember2022-09-300001732845wrk:RestrictedStockAttainmentofPerformanceConditionAtAmountInExcessofTargetMember2022-10-012023-09-300001732845wrk:RestrictedStockNonEmployeeDirectorsMember2021-10-012022-09-300001732845wrk:GlobalPaperMember2021-09-300001732845us-gaap:CorporateMember2023-09-300001732845us-gaap:OperatingSegmentsMemberwrk:UnaffiliatedCustomersMemberwrk:ConsumerPackagingMember2022-10-012023-09-300001732845us-gaap:OperatingSegmentsMemberwrk:DistributionSegmentMembercountry:US2021-10-012022-09-300001732845us-gaap:OperatingSegmentsMemberwrk:UnaffiliatedCustomersMemberwrk:DistributionSegmentMember2022-10-012023-09-300001732845us-gaap:EMEAMember2022-09-300001732845wrk:UsEquitySecuritiesMemberus-gaap:FairValueMeasurementsRecurringMember2022-09-300001732845wrk:TimberNotesMemberus-gaap:FairValueInputsLevel2Member2023-09-300001732845us-gaap:NoncontrollingInterestMember2020-10-012021-09-300001732845wrk:TechnologyAndPatentsMember2022-09-300001732845us-gaap:FixedIncomeFundsMemberus-gaap:PensionPlansDefinedBenefitMembercountry:US2023-09-300001732845srt:LatinAmericaMember2023-09-300001732845wrk:DistributionSegmentMemberus-gaap:IntersegmentEliminationMember2022-10-012023-09-300001732845us-gaap:CorporateNonSegmentMemberus-gaap:EmployeeSeveranceMember2022-10-012023-09-300001732845us-gaap:BaseRateMembersrt:MinimumMemberwrk:SeniorUnsecuredDebtMemberwrk:FarmCreditFacilityMember2022-07-072022-07-070001732845us-gaap:PensionPlansDefinedBenefitMemberus-gaap:ForeignPlanMember2021-10-012022-09-300001732845us-gaap:OperatingSegmentsMemberwrk:DistributionSegmentMember2021-10-012022-09-300001732845us-gaap:EmployeeStockOptionMember2022-09-300001732845wrk:OtherCostsRelatedToRestructuringAndOtherCostsMember2021-10-012022-09-300001732845us-gaap:FairValueInputsLevel1Memberwrk:NonUsEquitySecuritiesMemberus-gaap:FairValueMeasurementsRecurringMember2023-09-300001732845country:CA2021-09-300001732845wrk:GlobalPaperMember2022-09-300001732845us-gaap:CorporateNonSegmentMemberwrk:PropertyPlantAndEquipmentAndRelatedCostsMember2021-10-012022-09-300001732845us-gaap:OperatingSegmentsMemberus-gaap:EMEAMemberwrk:ConsumerPackagingMember2021-10-012022-09-300001732845us-gaap:FixedIncomeFundsMemberus-gaap:PensionPlansDefinedBenefitMembercountry:US2022-09-300001732845wrk:GrupoGondiInvestmentMember2020-10-012021-09-300001732845us-gaap:HedgeFundsMember2022-09-300001732845us-gaap:EmployeeStockOptionMember2023-09-300001732845us-gaap:OperatingSegmentsMemberwrk:DistributionSegmentMembercountry:CA2020-10-012021-09-300001732845us-gaap:FairValueInputsLevel2Memberus-gaap:ForeignGovernmentDebtSecuritiesMemberus-gaap:FairValueMeasurementsRecurringMember2022-09-300001732845us-gaap:CommonStockMember2020-09-300001732845wrk:EmployeeStockPurchasePlanMember2021-10-012022-09-300001732845srt:MaximumMemberus-gaap:RevolvingCreditFacilityMemberwrk:SeniorUnsecuredDebtMember2022-07-072022-07-070001732845wrk:PackagingEquipmentLeasedToCustomersMember2021-10-012022-09-300001732845wrk:NewReportableCorrugatedPackagingSegmentMember2021-10-012022-09-300001732845us-gaap:CorporateNonSegmentMemberwrk:PropertyPlantAndEquipmentAndRelatedCostsMember2022-10-012023-09-300001732845wrk:RTSPackagingLLCMemberstpr:TN2023-09-082023-09-080001732845us-gaap:OperatingSegmentsMemberwrk:UnaffiliatedCustomersMemberwrk:ConsumerPackagingMember2020-10-012021-09-300001732845srt:AsiaPacificMember2022-10-012023-09-300001732845us-gaap:UnsecuredDebtMemberus-gaap:CommercialPaperMember2018-12-062018-12-070001732845srt:MinimumMember2021-10-012022-09-300001732845us-gaap:AdditionalPaidInCapitalMember2020-10-012021-09-300001732845us-gaap:SubsidiaryOfCommonParentMemberwrk:PaceIndustryUnionManagementPensionFundMember2020-04-300001732845wrk:RestrictedStockWithServiceConditionMember2022-10-012023-09-300001732845us-gaap:SecuredDebtMemberwrk:ReceivablesSecuritizationFacilityMember2021-03-120001732845wrk:CorrugatedPackagingMember2022-09-300001732845wrk:ThreePointZeroZeroPercentageSeniorNotesDueSeptemberTwoThousandTwentyFourMember2023-09-220001732845wrk:BrazilDelayedDrawCreditFacilitiesMemberwrk:TerminatedMemberus-gaap:UnsecuredDebtMember2019-04-102019-04-100001732845wrk:AsAdjustedMemberwrk:MexicoAcquisitionMember2022-12-010001732845wrk:BrazilExportCreditNoteMemberus-gaap:UnsecuredDebtMember2021-01-180001732845us-gaap:UnsecuredDebtMemberus-gaap:CommercialPaperMember2018-12-070001732845us-gaap:PensionPlansDefinedBenefitMemberus-gaap:ForeignPlanMember2021-09-300001732845us-gaap:ForeignPlanMemberus-gaap:OtherPostretirementBenefitPlansDefinedBenefitMember2023-09-300001732845wrk:FourPointNineZeroZeroPercentageSeniorNotesDueMarchTwoThousandTwentyNineMember2023-09-262023-09-260001732845us-gaap:LicensingAgreementsMember2022-09-300001732845us-gaap:DomesticCorporateDebtSecuritiesMemberus-gaap:FairValueInputsLevel1Memberus-gaap:FairValueMeasurementsRecurringMember2022-09-3000017328452015-07-310001732845wrk:OtherCostsRelatedToRestructuringAndOtherCostsMemberwrk:GlobalPaperMember2023-09-300001732845us-gaap:CorporateNonSegmentMember2021-10-012022-09-300001732845us-gaap:RetainedEarningsMember2021-10-012022-09-300001732845wrk:PropertyPlantAndEquipmentAndRelatedCostsMember2020-10-012021-09-300001732845wrk:DistributionSegmentMember2023-09-300001732845us-gaap:ParentMember2021-10-012022-09-300001732845us-gaap:OperatingSegmentsMemberus-gaap:EMEAMemberwrk:GlobalPaperMember2021-10-012022-09-300001732845us-gaap:OperatingSegmentsMemberwrk:UnaffiliatedCustomersMemberwrk:CorrugatedPackagingMember2022-10-012023-09-300001732845srt:RevisionOfPriorPeriodErrorCorrectionAdjustmentMember2022-10-012023-09-300001732845wrk:TimberNotesMemberwrk:RockTennCompanyAndMeadwestvacoCorporationsMember2023-09-300001732845us-gaap:OperatingSegmentsMembersrt:LatinAmericaMemberwrk:CorrugatedPackagingMember2020-10-012021-09-300001732845us-gaap:OtherIntangibleAssetsMember2023-09-300001732845us-gaap:SecuredDebtMemberwrk:ReceivablesSecuritizationFacilityMemberus-gaap:AssetPledgedAsCollateralMember2023-09-300001732845us-gaap:AllowanceForCreditLossMember2022-10-012023-09-300001732845us-gaap:MachineryAndEquipmentMember2023-09-300001732845wrk:TimberNoteTwoMember2023-09-300001732845wrk:CorrugatedPackagingMember2021-09-300001732845srt:AffiliatedEntityMember2020-10-012021-09-300001732845wrk:EuropeanRevolvingCreditFacilityMemberwrk:SeniorUnsecuredDebtMember2022-07-072022-07-070001732845srt:MaximumMemberus-gaap:HedgeFundsMember2021-10-012022-09-300001732845us-gaap:AccumulatedDefinedBenefitPlansAdjustmentMember2023-09-300001732845us-gaap:AdditionalPaidInCapitalMember2023-09-300001732845us-gaap:OperatingSegmentsMemberwrk:CorrugatedPackagingMember2021-10-012022-09-300001732845wrk:TimberNotesMemberus-gaap:FairValueInputsLevel2Member2022-09-300001732845wrk:OtherCostsRelatedToRestructuringAndOtherCostsMemberwrk:GlobalPaperMember2022-10-012023-09-300001732845us-gaap:IntersegmentEliminationMember2020-10-012021-09-300001732845us-gaap:NoncontrollingInterestMember2021-09-300001732845srt:AsiaPacificMember2021-10-012022-09-300001732845wrk:PropertyPlantAndEquipmentAndRelatedCostsMember2023-09-300001732845us-gaap:OtherNoncurrentLiabilitiesMember2023-09-300001732845us-gaap:CapitalAdditionsMember2023-09-300001732845wrk:PropertyPlantAndEquipmentAndRelatedCostsMemberwrk:ConsumerPackagingMember2020-10-012021-09-300001732845wrk:AsbestosLitigationMember2023-09-300001732845wrk:RestrictedStockNonEmployeeDirectorsMember2022-10-012023-09-300001732845us-gaap:IntersegmentEliminationMemberwrk:GlobalPaperMember2020-10-012021-09-300001732845srt:MinimumMemberwrk:EuropeanRevolvingCreditFacilityMemberwrk:SeniorUnsecuredDebtMember2022-07-072022-07-070001732845wrk:NewReportableGlobalPaperSegmentMember2021-10-012022-09-300001732845us-gaap:OperatingSegmentsMembercountry:USwrk:GlobalPaperMember2022-10-012023-09-300001732845us-gaap:NoncontrollingInterestMember2021-10-012022-09-300001732845wrk:EmployeeStockPurchasePlanMember2016-02-020001732845us-gaap:SegmentContinuingOperationsMember2020-10-012021-09-300001732845wrk:RestrictedStockTotalShareholderReturnGrantMember2021-10-012022-09-300001732845wrk:PanamaCityMillMember2021-10-012022-09-300001732845us-gaap:SecuredOvernightFinancingRateSofrOvernightIndexSwapRateMemberwrk:SeniorUnsecuredDebtMemberwrk:FarmCreditFacilityMember2022-07-072022-07-070001732845wrk:CorrugatedMediumManufacturingOperationsMember2021-10-012022-09-300001732845us-gaap:OperatingSegmentsMembercountry:CAwrk:GlobalPaperMember2021-10-012022-09-3000017328452022-05-040001732845us-gaap:AccumulatedOtherComprehensiveIncomeMember2022-09-300001732845us-gaap:DomesticCorporateDebtSecuritiesMemberus-gaap:FairValueMeasurementsRecurringMember2022-09-300001732845us-gaap:AccumulatedTranslationAdjustmentMember2022-10-012023-09-300001732845us-gaap:MachineryAndEquipmentMember2022-09-300001732845us-gaap:CommonStockMember2022-10-012023-09-300001732845us-gaap:EmployeeSeveranceMember2021-10-012022-09-300001732845us-gaap:CustomerRelationshipsMember2023-09-300001732845us-gaap:OperatingSegmentsMembersrt:LatinAmericaMemberwrk:DistributionSegmentMember2021-10-012022-09-300001732845us-gaap:AdditionalPaidInCapitalMember2022-10-012023-09-300001732845srt:MaximumMemberwrk:NaturalGasCommodityHedgeMember2022-10-012023-09-300001732845us-gaap:IntersegmentEliminationMember2021-10-012022-09-300001732845us-gaap:ForeignPlanMemberus-gaap:OtherPostretirementBenefitPlansDefinedBenefitMember2022-10-012023-09-3000017328452020-09-300001732845us-gaap:USGovernmentDebtSecuritiesMemberus-gaap:FairValueMeasurementsRecurringMember2023-09-300001732845wrk:FourPointZeroZeroPercentageSeniorNotesDueMarchTwoThousandTwentyThreeMember2022-03-220001732845us-gaap:EmployeeSeveranceMemberwrk:ConsumerPackagingMember2020-10-012021-09-300001732845us-gaap:FairValueInputsLevel2Memberus-gaap:FairValueMeasurementsRecurringMember2022-09-300001732845us-gaap:CorporateNonSegmentMemberus-gaap:EmployeeSeveranceMember2023-09-300001732845us-gaap:DomesticCorporateDebtSecuritiesMemberus-gaap:FairValueInputsLevel1Memberus-gaap:FairValueMeasurementsRecurringMember2023-09-300001732845us-gaap:TrademarksAndTradeNamesMember2023-09-300001732845srt:LatinAmericaMember2020-10-012021-09-300001732845us-gaap:BaseRateMembersrt:MaximumMemberwrk:SeniorUnsecuredDebtMemberwrk:FarmCreditFacilityMember2022-07-072022-07-070001732845us-gaap:PensionPlansDefinedBenefitMemberus-gaap:ForeignPlanMemberus-gaap:EquitySecuritiesMember2023-09-300001732845us-gaap:PensionPlansDefinedBenefitMemberus-gaap:NonqualifiedPlanMembercountry:US2023-09-300001732845srt:MaximumMemberwrk:DistributionSegmentMember2023-07-012023-09-300001732845us-gaap:IntersegmentEliminationMemberwrk:ConsumerPackagingMember2022-10-012023-09-300001732845us-gaap:OperatingSegmentsMembersrt:LatinAmericaMemberwrk:CorrugatedPackagingMember2022-10-012023-09-300001732845us-gaap:EmployeeSeveranceMemberwrk:CorrugatedPackagingMember2020-10-012021-09-300001732845wrk:PropertyPlantAndEquipmentAndRelatedCostsMemberwrk:GlobalPaperMember2021-10-012022-09-300001732845wrk:NewReportableCorrugatedPackagingSegmentMember2022-09-300001732845wrk:CorrugatedPackagingMemberus-gaap:IntersegmentEliminationMember2021-10-012022-09-300001732845us-gaap:FairValueMeasurementsRecurringMember2022-09-300001732845wrk:ThreePointSevenFiveZeroPercentageSeniorsNotesDueMarchTwoThousandTwentyFiveMember2023-09-260001732845wrk:NotesDueFiscal2029To2033Memberus-gaap:UnsecuredDebtMember2022-09-300001732845us-gaap:EmployeeStockOptionMember2022-10-012023-09-300001732845wrk:UsEquitySecuritiesMemberus-gaap:FairValueMeasurementsRecurringMember2023-09-300001732845wrk:ReceivablesSecuritizationFacilityMemberus-gaap:SecuredDebtMember2022-09-300001732845us-gaap:CorporateNonSegmentMember2022-10-012023-09-300001732845wrk:MeadWestvacoMemberwrk:TimberNoteOneMember2007-12-310001732845us-gaap:DesignatedAsHedgingInstrumentMemberus-gaap:CashFlowHedgingMemberwrk:NaturalGasCommodityHedgeMember2022-09-300001732845us-gaap:AllowanceForCreditLossMember2020-09-300001732845srt:MinimumMemberus-gaap:StateAndLocalJurisdictionMember2022-10-012023-09-300001732845wrk:SevenHillsMillMember2022-10-012023-09-300001732845us-gaap:OperatingSegmentsMembersrt:AsiaPacificMemberwrk:GlobalPaperMember2022-10-012023-09-300001732845srt:AffiliatedEntityMember2022-10-012023-09-300001732845us-gaap:OperatingSegmentsMemberwrk:UnaffiliatedCustomersMemberwrk:DistributionSegmentMember2020-10-012021-09-300001732845us-gaap:PensionPlansDefinedBenefitMember2023-09-300001732845wrk:TacomaWaMember2022-10-012023-09-300001732845wrk:GlobalPaperSegmentMember2022-10-012023-09-3000017328452021-12-020001732845us-gaap:EmployeeSeveranceMemberwrk:ConsumerPackagingMember2021-10-012022-09-300001732845us-gaap:PensionPlansDefinedBenefitMembercountry:USsrt:ScenarioForecastMember2023-10-012024-09-300001732845wrk:ThreePointSevenFiveZeroPercentageSeniorsNotesDueMarchTwoThousandTwentyFiveMember2023-09-262023-09-260001732845us-gaap:TransportationEquipmentMember2023-09-300001732845us-gaap:EMEAMemberus-gaap:IntersegmentEliminationMember2021-10-012022-09-300001732845us-gaap:OtherPostretirementBenefitPlansDefinedBenefitMembercountry:US2021-09-300001732845us-gaap:SecuredDebtMemberwrk:ReceivablesSecuritizationFacilityMemberus-gaap:AssetPledgedAsCollateralMember2022-09-300001732845us-gaap:OperatingSegmentsMemberwrk:ConsumerPackagingMember2021-10-012022-09-300001732845us-gaap:NoncontrollingInterestMember2020-09-300001732845wrk:OtherCostsRelatedToRestructuringAndOtherCostsMemberwrk:DistributionSegmentMember2021-10-012022-09-300001732845srt:MaximumMemberus-gaap:FixedIncomeSecuritiesMember2021-10-012022-09-300001732845wrk:MexicoAcquisitionMember2022-12-010001732845wrk:RestrictedStockTargetAwards2019Member2021-10-012022-09-300001732845wrk:GlobalPaperMember2022-10-012023-09-300001732845country:BR2022-10-012023-09-300001732845us-gaap:IntersegmentEliminationMemberwrk:GlobalPaperMember2021-10-012022-09-300001732845us-gaap:HedgeFundsMember2023-09-300001732845us-gaap:ForeignCorporateDebtSecuritiesMemberus-gaap:FairValueMeasurementsRecurringMember2022-09-300001732845wrk:LongTermCommittedCreditFacilitiesMemberus-gaap:CashAndCashEquivalentsMember2023-09-300001732845us-gaap:AdditionalPaidInCapitalMember2021-09-300001732845us-gaap:FairValueInputsLevel1Memberus-gaap:ShortTermInvestmentsMemberus-gaap:FairValueMeasurementsRecurringMember2023-09-300001732845us-gaap:PensionPlansDefinedBenefitMemberus-gaap:ForeignPlanMemberus-gaap:OtherInvestmentsMember2023-09-300001732845us-gaap:AccumulatedTranslationAdjustmentMember2021-09-300001732845wrk:PublicBondObligationsMember2022-09-300001732845us-gaap:DisposalGroupHeldforsaleNotDiscontinuedOperationsMember2022-09-300001732845wrk:LegacyReportableConsumerPackagingSegmentMember2021-10-012022-09-300001732845us-gaap:FairValueInputsLevel1Memberwrk:NonUsEquitySecuritiesMemberus-gaap:FairValueMeasurementsRecurringMember2022-09-300001732845us-gaap:PensionPlansDefinedBenefitMember2021-10-012022-09-300001732845us-gaap:OperatingSegmentsMember2020-10-012021-09-300001732845wrk:NewReportableDistributionSegmentMember2022-09-300001732845us-gaap:ValuationAllowanceOfDeferredTaxAssetsMember2023-09-300001732845wrk:NewReportableConsumerPackagingSegmentMember2021-10-012022-09-300001732845srt:MaximumMemberus-gaap:EquitySecuritiesMember2021-10-012022-09-300001732845wrk:DistributionSegmentMember2020-10-012021-09-300001732845srt:ChiefExecutiveOfficerMemberus-gaap:CorporateMember2020-10-012021-09-300001732845us-gaap:OperatingSegmentsMembersrt:LatinAmericaMemberwrk:GlobalPaperMember2020-10-012021-09-300001732845srt:MaximumMember2021-10-012022-09-300001732845us-gaap:ValuationAllowanceOfDeferredTaxAssetsMember2020-09-300001732845us-gaap:EMEAMember2021-09-300001732845us-gaap:OtherPostretirementBenefitPlansDefinedBenefitMembercountry:US2022-09-300001732845wrk:RestrictedStockWithServiceConditionMember2020-10-012021-09-300001732845us-gaap:ForeignPlanMemberus-gaap:OtherPostretirementBenefitPlansDefinedBenefitMember2020-10-012021-09-300001732845us-gaap:PensionPlansDefinedBenefitMember2020-10-012021-09-300001732845us-gaap:NoncompeteAgreementsMember2023-09-300001732845wrk:BrazilAdministrativeCouncilOfTaxAppealsMember2022-10-012023-09-300001732845wrk:GrupoGondiMember2022-12-010001732845stpr:VA2023-09-292023-09-290001732845srt:AffiliatedEntityMember2023-09-300001732845us-gaap:NoncompeteAgreementsMember2022-09-300001732845us-gaap:OtherPostretirementBenefitPlansDefinedBenefitMembercountry:US2020-10-012021-09-300001732845us-gaap:UnsecuredDebtMemberus-gaap:CommercialPaperMember2023-09-300001732845us-gaap:OtherPostretirementBenefitPlansDefinedBenefitMembercountry:US2023-09-300001732845us-gaap:RestrictedStockMember2020-10-012021-09-300001732845wrk:TransactionAgreementWithSmurfitKappaMember2023-09-120001732845us-gaap:ValuationAllowanceOfDeferredTaxAssetsMember2021-10-012022-09-300001732845us-gaap:FairValueInputsLevel2Memberwrk:OtherFixedIncomeSecuritiesMemberus-gaap:FairValueMeasurementsRecurringMember2023-09-300001732845wrk:CorrugatedPackagingMember2023-09-300001732845wrk:OtherCostsRelatedToRestructuringAndOtherCostsMember2023-09-300001732845wrk:NewReportableDistributionSegmentMember2023-09-300001732845us-gaap:OperatingSegmentsMemberwrk:UnaffiliatedCustomersMemberwrk:DistributionSegmentMember2021-10-012022-09-300001732845us-gaap:CorporateNonSegmentMemberus-gaap:EmployeeSeveranceMember2020-10-012021-09-300001732845wrk:OtherFixedIncomeSecuritiesMemberus-gaap:FairValueMeasurementsRecurringMember2023-09-300001732845us-gaap:CorporateMember2021-09-300001732845wrk:ConsumerPackagingMember2020-10-012021-09-300001732845srt:MinimumMemberwrk:CorrugatedPackagingMember2023-07-012023-09-300001732845wrk:ConsumerPackagingMember2021-09-300001732845wrk:ReceivablesSecuritizationFacilityMemberus-gaap:SecuredDebtMemberus-gaap:SecuredOvernightFinancingRateSofrOvernightIndexSwapRateMember2023-02-282023-02-280001732845us-gaap:EmployeeSeveranceMemberwrk:GlobalPaperMember2022-10-012023-09-300001732845us-gaap:RevolvingCreditFacilityMemberwrk:SeniorUnsecuredDebtMember2022-07-072022-07-070001732845us-gaap:OperatingSegmentsMembersrt:LatinAmericaMemberwrk:GlobalPaperMember2021-10-012022-09-300001732845country:USus-gaap:IntersegmentEliminationMember2020-10-012021-09-300001732845us-gaap:OperatingSegmentsMembercountry:USwrk:GlobalPaperMember2021-10-012022-09-300001732845us-gaap:PensionPlansDefinedBenefitMemberus-gaap:ForeignPlanMember2022-10-012023-09-300001732845wrk:TwoThousandTwentyIncentiveStockPlanMember2022-01-280001732845wrk:FourPointZeroZeroPercentageSeniorNotesDueMarchTwoThousandTwentyThreeMember2022-03-222022-03-220001732845us-gaap:OperatingSegmentsMembersrt:LatinAmericaMemberwrk:CorrugatedPackagingMember2021-10-012022-09-300001732845us-gaap:DisposalGroupHeldforsaleNotDiscontinuedOperationsMember2023-09-300001732845us-gaap:DesignatedAsHedgingInstrumentMemberus-gaap:CashFlowHedgingMemberwrk:NaturalGasCommodityHedgeMember2021-10-012022-09-300001732845wrk:NewReportableDistributionSegmentMember2022-10-012023-09-300001732845us-gaap:RetainedEarningsMember2021-09-300001732845us-gaap:CorporateNonSegmentMemberwrk:OtherCostsRelatedToRestructuringAndOtherCostsMember2021-10-012022-09-300001732845wrk:UsEquitySecuritiesMemberus-gaap:FairValueInputsLevel1Memberus-gaap:FairValueMeasurementsRecurringMember2023-09-300001732845wrk:DistributionSegmentMember2023-09-300001732845us-gaap:RevolvingCreditFacilityMemberwrk:SeniorUnsecuredDebtMember2022-09-300001732845wrk:OtherFixedIncomeSecuritiesMemberus-gaap:FairValueMeasurementsRecurringMember2022-09-300001732845us-gaap:ValuationAllowanceOfDeferredTaxAssetsMember2022-10-012023-09-300001732845us-gaap:CommonStockMember2021-10-012022-09-300001732845wrk:NorthCharlestonMember2022-10-012023-09-300001732845srt:MinimumMemberus-gaap:SecuredOvernightFinancingRateSofrOvernightIndexSwapRateMemberwrk:SeniorUnsecuredDebtMemberwrk:FarmCreditFacilityMember2022-07-072022-07-070001732845us-gaap:USGovernmentDebtSecuritiesMemberus-gaap:FairValueMeasurementsRecurringMember2022-09-300001732845us-gaap:AdditionalPaidInCapitalMember2020-09-300001732845us-gaap:PensionPlansDefinedBenefitMemberus-gaap:ForeignPlanMemberus-gaap:NonqualifiedPlanMember2023-09-300001732845us-gaap:EMEAMemberus-gaap:IntersegmentEliminationMember2022-10-012023-09-300001732845wrk:FourPointSixFiveZeroPercentageSeniorNotesDueMarchTwoThousandTwentySixMember2023-09-262023-09-260001732845srt:MaximumMemberwrk:EuropeanRevolvingCreditFacilityMemberwrk:SeniorUnsecuredDebtMember2022-07-072022-07-070001732845us-gaap:PensionPlansDefinedBenefitMemberus-gaap:ForeignPlanMemberus-gaap:OtherInvestmentsMember2022-09-300001732845country:US2022-10-012023-09-300001732845us-gaap:RestrictedStockMember2022-09-300001732845us-gaap:OperatingSegmentsMemberwrk:CorrugatedPackagingMembercountry:US2020-10-012021-09-300001732845wrk:DistributionSegmentMemberus-gaap:IntersegmentEliminationMember2021-10-012022-09-300001732845us-gaap:OperatingSegmentsMemberwrk:CorrugatedPackagingMember2022-10-012023-09-300001732845wrk:ConsumerPackagingMember2023-09-3000017328452021-09-300001732845us-gaap:OperatingSegmentsMemberwrk:UnaffiliatedCustomersMemberwrk:CorrugatedPackagingMember2021-10-012022-09-300001732845us-gaap:OperatingSegmentsMembersrt:AsiaPacificMemberwrk:GlobalPaperMember2021-10-012022-09-300001732845us-gaap:FairValueInputsLevel2Memberus-gaap:ForeignGovernmentDebtSecuritiesMemberus-gaap:FairValueMeasurementsRecurringMember2023-09-3000017328452021-01-012021-03-310001732845wrk:FourPointNineZeroZeroPercentageSeniorNotesDueMarchTwoThousandTwentyNineMember2023-09-260001732845us-gaap:ShortTermInvestmentsMemberus-gaap:FairValueMeasurementsRecurringMember2023-09-300001732845us-gaap:RetainedEarningsMembersrt:CumulativeEffectPeriodOfAdoptionAdjustmentMember2020-10-012021-09-300001732845srt:MaximumMember2022-10-012023-09-3000017328452023-06-162023-06-160001732845us-gaap:ForeignPlanMemberus-gaap:OtherPostretirementBenefitPlansDefinedBenefitMember2021-10-012022-09-300001732845us-gaap:AccumulatedOtherComprehensiveIncomeMember2021-10-012022-09-300001732845srt:LatinAmericaMember2022-09-300001732845wrk:CorrugatedPackagingMemberwrk:GrupoGondiInvestmentMember2022-09-300001732845us-gaap:ValuationAllowanceOfDeferredTaxAssetsMember2020-10-012021-09-3000017328452021-04-012021-06-300001732845us-gaap:TrademarksAndTradeNamesMember2022-09-300001732845us-gaap:AccumulatedOtherComprehensiveIncomeMember2023-09-300001732845us-gaap:DesignatedAsHedgingInstrumentMemberus-gaap:CashFlowHedgingMemberwrk:NaturalGasCommodityHedgeMember2023-09-300001732845wrk:PaceIndustryUnionManagementPensionFundMember2019-09-300001732845us-gaap:PensionPlansDefinedBenefitMembercountry:USus-gaap:OtherInvestmentsMember2022-09-300001732845wrk:RestrictedStockSubsequentGrantMember2020-10-012021-09-300001732845wrk:OtherCostsRelatedToRestructuringAndOtherCostsMemberwrk:ConsumerPackagingMember2023-09-300001732845us-gaap:EmployeeSeveranceMemberwrk:CorrugatedPackagingMember2022-10-012023-09-300001732845us-gaap:DesignatedAsHedgingInstrumentMemberus-gaap:CashFlowHedgingMemberus-gaap:InterestRateSwapMember2020-10-012021-09-3000017328452021-10-012022-09-300001732845wrk:LongtermDebtExcludingFinanceLeaseObligationsMember2023-09-300001732845srt:MaximumMemberus-gaap:RevolvingCreditFacilityMemberwrk:SeniorUnsecuredDebtMemberwrk:SterlingOvernightIndexAverageMember2022-07-072022-07-070001732845country:CA2022-09-300001732845wrk:RestrictedStockServiceConditionandCashFlowperSharePerformanceConditionatTargetMember2021-10-012022-09-300001732845wrk:ThreePointThreeSevenFivePercentageSeniorNotesDueSeptemberTwoThousandTwentySevenMember2023-09-2600017328452021-07-012021-09-300001732845us-gaap:AccumulatedDefinedBenefitPlansAdjustmentMember2021-10-012022-09-300001732845wrk:EuropeanRevolvingCreditFacilityMemberwrk:SeniorUnsecuredDebtMember2022-09-300001732845wrk:InternationalAndOtherDebtMember2023-09-300001732845us-gaap:CustomerRelationshipsMember2022-09-300001732845wrk:EmployeeStockPurchasePlanMember2022-10-012023-09-300001732845us-gaap:AllowanceForCreditLossMember2020-10-012021-09-300001732845us-gaap:AccumulatedDefinedBenefitPlansAdjustmentMember2021-09-300001732845srt:MinimumMemberus-gaap:RevolvingCreditFacilityMemberwrk:SeniorUnsecuredDebtMember2022-07-072022-07-070001732845us-gaap:EquitySecuritiesMember2023-09-300001732845us-gaap:CorporateNonSegmentMemberwrk:PropertyPlantAndEquipmentAndRelatedCostsMember2023-09-300001732845wrk:MeasurementPeriodAdjustmentsMemberwrk:MexicoAcquisitionMember2022-12-010001732845srt:AffiliatedEntityMember2022-09-300001732845us-gaap:UnsecuredDebtMemberwrk:DelayedDrawTermFacilityMember2023-09-300001732845srt:MaximumMember2023-07-012023-09-300001732845us-gaap:AccumulatedTranslationAdjustmentMember2022-09-300001732845country:CA2021-10-012022-09-300001732845wrk:CorrugatedPackagingMemberwrk:PropertyPlantAndEquipmentAndRelatedCostsMember2020-10-012021-09-300001732845wrk:OtherCostsRelatedToRestructuringAndOtherCostsMemberwrk:CorrugatedPackagingMember2023-09-300001732845us-gaap:OperatingSegmentsMembersrt:LatinAmericaMemberwrk:GlobalPaperMember2022-10-012023-09-300001732845srt:AsiaPacificMember2023-09-300001732845wrk:TechnologyAndPatentsMember2023-09-300001732845wrk:CorrugatedPackagingMember2022-10-012023-09-300001732845us-gaap:FairValueInputsLevel2Memberus-gaap:USGovernmentDebtSecuritiesMemberus-gaap:FairValueMeasurementsRecurringMember2023-09-300001732845us-gaap:OperatingSegmentsMembersrt:AsiaPacificMemberwrk:GlobalPaperMember2020-10-012021-09-30wrk:Segmentiso4217:USDxbrli:sharesiso4217:EURxbrli:pureiso4217:BRLwrk:Countryiso4217:MXNwrk:GraphicPlantswrk:CorrugatedPackagingPlantsutr:Btuwrk:Lawsuitwrk:Subsidiaryxbrli:sharesutr:Twrk:PaperMillsiso4217:USD

 

UNITED STATES

SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION

WASHINGTON, D.C. 20549

 

FORM 10-K

 

(Mark One)

ANNUAL REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934

For the fiscal year ended September 30, 2023

OR

TRANSITION REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934

For the transition period from to

Commission file number 001-38736

 

WESTROCK COMPANY

(Exact Name of Registrant as Specified in Its Charter)

 

Delaware

37-1880617

(State or Other Jurisdiction of

Incorporation or Organization)

(I.R.S. Employer

Identification No.)

 

1000 Abernathy Road NE, Atlanta, Georgia

30328

(Address of Principal Executive Offices)

(Zip Code)

 

Registrant’s Telephone Number, Including Area Code: (770) 448-2193

 

Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(b) of the Act:

Title of each class

Trading Symbol(s)

Name of each exchange on which registered

Common Stock, par value $0.01 per share

WRK

New York Stock Exchange

 

Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(g) of the Act: None

 

Indicate by check mark if the registrant is a well-known seasoned issuer, as defined in Rule 405 of the Securities Act. Yes No

Indicate by check mark if the registrant is not required to file reports pursuant to Section 13 or Section 15(d) of the Act. Yes No

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant (1) has filed all reports required to be filed by Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to file such reports), and (2) has been subject to such filing requirements for the past 90 days. Yes No

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has submitted electronically every Interactive Data File required to be submitted pursuant to Rule 405 of Regulation S-T (§ 232.405 of this chapter) during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to submit such files). Yes No

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a large accelerated filer, an accelerated filer, a non-accelerated filer, a smaller reporting company or an emerging growth company. See the definitions of “large accelerated filer,” “accelerated filer,” “smaller reporting company” and “emerging growth company” in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act.

 

Large accelerated filer

 

Accelerated filer

Non-accelerated filer

 

Smaller reporting company

Emerging growth company

 

 

 

If an emerging growth company, indicate by check mark if the registrant has elected not to use the extended transition period for complying with any new or revised financial accounting standards provided pursuant to Section 13(a) of the Exchange Act.

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has filed a report on and attestation to its management’s assessment of the effectiveness of its internal control over financial reporting under Section 404(b) of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (15 U.S.C. 7262(b)) by the registered public accounting firm that prepared or issued its audit report.

If securities are registered pursuant to Section 12(b) of the Act, indicate by check mark whether the financial statements of the registrant included in the filing reflect the correction of an error to previously issued financial statements. (1)

Indicate by check mark whether any of those error corrections are restatements that required a recovery analysis of incentive-based compensation received by any of the registrant's executive officers during the relevant recovery period pursuant to § 240.10D-1(b). (1)

(1) Per SEC guidance, this blank checkbox is presented on this cover page, but no disclosure with respect thereto is required until issuers are required under applicable exchange listing standards to have a recovery policy in place.

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a shell company (as defined in Rule 12b-2 of the Act). Yes No

The aggregate market value of the common equity held by non-affiliates of the registrant as of March 31, 2023 (based on the closing price per share as reported on the New York Stock Exchange on such date), was approximately $7,769 million.

As of November 3, 2023, the registrant had 256,469,100 shares of Common Stock, par value $0.01 per share, outstanding.

 

DOCUMENTS INCORPORATED BY REFERENCE

Portions of the definitive Proxy Statement for the Annual Meeting of Stockholders to be held on January 26, 2024 are incorporated by reference in Part III.

 

 


 

WESTROCK COMPANY

INDEX TO FORM 10-K

 

Page

Reference

PART I

 

Item 1.

Business

3

 

Item 1A.

Risk Factors

14

 

Item 1B.

Unresolved Staff Comments

28

 

Item 2.

Properties

28

 

Item 3.

Legal Proceedings

30

 

Item 4.

Mine Safety Disclosures

30

 

PART II

 

 

Item 5.

Market for the Registrant’s Common Equity, Related Stockholder Matters and Issuer

 

 

Purchases of Equity Securities

31

 

Item 6.

[Reserved]

32

 

Item 7.

Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations

33

 

 

 

Item 7A.

Quantitative and Qualitative Disclosures About Market Risk

57

 

Item 8.

Financial Statements and Supplementary Data

61

 

Item 9.

Changes in and Disagreements with Accountants on Accounting and Financial Disclosure

139

 

Item 9A.

Controls and Procedures

139

 

Item 9B.

Other Information

140

 

Item 9C.

Disclosure Regarding Foreign Jurisdictions that Prevent Inspections

140

 

PART III

 

 

Item 10.

Directors, Executive Officers and Corporate Governance

141

 

Item 11.

Executive Compensation

142

 

Item 12.

Security Ownership of Certain Beneficial Owners and Management and Related

 

 

Stockholder Matters

142

 

Item 13.

Certain Relationships and Related Transactions, and Director Independence

143

 

Item 14.

Principal Accounting Fees and Services

143

 

PART IV

 

 

Item 15.

Exhibits and Financial Statement Schedules

144

 

Item 16.

Form 10-K Summary

144

 

2


 

PART I

Item 1. BUSINESS

Unless the context otherwise requires, we, us, our, WestRock and “the Company refer to WestRock Company, its wholly-owned subsidiaries and its partially-owned consolidated subsidiaries.

General

WestRock is a multinational provider of sustainable fiber-based paper and packaging solutions. We partner with our customers to provide differentiated, sustainable paper and packaging solutions that help them win in the marketplace. Our team members support customers around the world from our operating and business locations in North America, South America, Europe, Asia and Australia.

We report our financial results of operations in four reportable segments: Corrugated Packaging, Consumer Packaging, Global Paper and Distribution. See “Note 8. Segment Information” of the Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements for additional information.

 

On December 1, 2022, we completed our acquisition of the remaining 67.7% interest in Gondi, S.A. de C.V. (“Grupo Gondi”) for $969.8 million in cash and the assumption of debt (“Mexico Acquisition”). We accounted for this acquisition as a business combination resulting in its consolidation. See “Note 3. Acquisitions” of the Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements for additional information. In addition, in fiscal 2023, we divested our interior partitions converting operations (our ownership interest in RTS Packaging, LLC), sold our Chattanooga, TN uncoated recycled paperboard mill, sold our ownership interest in an unconsolidated displays joint venture, sold our Seven Hills Paperboard LLC (“Seven Hills”) mill joint venture in Lynchburg, VA, and sold our Eaton, IN, and Aurora, IL uncoated recycled paperboard mills. See “Note 1. Description of Business and Summary of Significant Accounting Policies — Description of Business” of the Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements for additional information.

Transaction Agreement with Smurfit Kappa

 

On September 12, 2023, we entered into a transaction agreement (the “Transaction Agreement”) with Smurfit Kappa Group plc, a public limited company incorporated in Ireland (“Smurfit Kappa”), Cepheidway Limited (to be renamed Smurfit WestRock plc), a private limited company incorporated in Ireland (“ListCo”), and Sun Merger Sub, LLC, a Delaware limited liability company and a wholly owned subsidiary of ListCo (“Merger Sub”).

 

The Transaction Agreement provides, among other things, and subject to the satisfaction or waiver of the conditions set forth therein, that (a) pursuant to a scheme of arrangement (the “Scheme”) each issued ordinary share of Smurfit Kappa will be exchanged for one ordinary share of ListCo (a “ListCo Share”), as a result of which Smurfit Kappa will become a wholly owned subsidiary of ListCo, and (b) following the implementation of the Scheme, Merger Sub will merge with and into the Company (the “Merger” and, together with the Scheme, the “Transaction”), with the Company surviving the Merger as a wholly owned subsidiary of ListCo. As a result of the Merger, each share of common stock, par value $0.01 per share, of the Company (the “Common Stock”), with certain exceptions, will be converted into the right to receive one ListCo Share and $5.00 in cash. All shares owned by the Company, any Company subsidiary, Smurfit Kappa, Merger Sub or any of their respective subsidiaries will be cancelled and will cease to exist, and no consideration will be delivered in exchange therefor. The Transaction Agreement also provides a mechanism for converting outstanding Company equity awards to ListCo awards. The Transaction is expected to close in the second calendar quarter of 2024, conditional upon regulatory approvals, shareholder approvals and satisfaction of other closing conditions.

 

Following completion of the Transaction, former Smurfit Kappa shareholders are expected to hold approximately 50.4% of ListCo and our former stockholders are expected to hold approximately 49.6% of ListCo, respectively, based on the number of shares outstanding of both Smurfit Kappa and WestRock as of September 12, 2023. It is further expected that the ListCo shares will be (i) registered under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended, and listed on the New York Stock Exchange (“NYSE”) and (ii) listed on the Standard Listing segment of the Official List of the Financial Conduct Authority (“FCA”) and admitted to trading on the main market for listed securities of the London Stock Exchange (“LSE”). Shares of our Common Stock will be delisted from the NYSE and deregistered under the Exchange Act.

3


 

Products

We are one of the largest integrated producers of linerboard, white-top linerboard and corrugating medium (“containerboard”) and kraft paper in North America, and we serve primarily corrugated packaging markets. We are one of the largest producers of paperboard in North America, and we operate both integrated virgin and recycled fiber mills. Our mill system manufactures for the benefit of each reportable segment that ultimately sells the associated paper and packaging products to our external customers. Additionally, our recycling operations are conducted as a procurement function, focusing on the procurement of low cost, high quality recycled fiber for our mill system. See Item 2. Properties” for additional information on our annual production capacity and types of containerboard and paperboard we manufacture, and Item 1. Business — Sales and Marketing for additional information on our vertical integration.

Corrugated Packaging Segment

Our Corrugated Packaging segment substantially consists of our integrated corrugated converting operations and generates its revenues primarily from the sale of corrugated containers and other corrugated products including displays. Corrugated packaging is used to provide protective packaging for shipment and distribution of food, paper, health and beauty, and other household, consumer, commercial and industrial products. Corrugated packaging may also be graphically enhanced for retail sale, particularly in club store locations. Our integrated corrugated packaging system manufactures primarily containerboard, corrugated sheets, corrugated packaging and preprinted linerboard for sale to consumer and industrial products manufacturers and corrugated box manufacturers. We produce a wide range of high-quality corrugated containers designed to protect, ship, store, promote and display products made to our customers’ specifications. We convert corrugated sheets into corrugated products ranging from one-color protective cartons to graphically brilliant point-of-purchase packaging. Our corrugated container plants serve local customers and regional and large national accounts. We provide customers with innovative packaging solutions to help them promote and sell their products. We provide structural and graphic design, engineering services and custom, proprietary and standard automated packaging machines, offering customers turn-key installation, automation, line integration and packaging solutions. We offer a machinery solution that creates pouches that replace single-use plastics, including bubble mailers. To make corrugated sheet stock, we feed linerboard and corrugating medium into a corrugator that flutes the medium to specified sizes, glues the linerboard and fluted medium together, and slits and cuts the resulting corrugated paperboard into sheets to customer specifications.

We design, manufacture and, in certain cases, pack temporary displays for sale to consumer products companies and retailers. These displays are used as marketing tools to support new product introductions and specific product promotions in mass merchandising stores, supermarkets, convenience stores, home improvement stores and other retail locations. We also design, manufacture and, in some cases, pre-assemble permanent displays for these customers. We make temporary displays primarily from corrugated paperboard. Unlike temporary displays, permanent displays are restocked with our customers’ product; therefore, they are constructed primarily from metal, plastic, wood and other durable materials. We manufacture and distribute point of sale material utilizing litho, screen and digital printing technologies. We manufacture lithographic laminated packaging for sale to our customers that require packaging with high quality graphics and strength characteristics.

Sales of corrugated packaging products to external customers accounted for 48.1%, 42.3% and 43.2% of our net sales in fiscal 2023, 2022 and 2021, respectively. See “Note 8. Segment Information” of the Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements, as well as Item 7. “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations”, for additional information.

Consumer Packaging Segment

Our Consumer Packaging segment consists of our integrated consumer converting operations and generates its revenues primarily from the sale of consumer packaging products such as folding cartons, interior partitions (before divestiture in September 2023), inserts and labels. We are one of the largest manufacturers of folding cartons in North America. Our folding cartons are used to package items such as food, paper, beverages, dairy products, confectionery, health and beauty and other household consumer, commercial and industrial products, primarily for retail sale. Our folding cartons are also used by our customers to attract consumer attention at the point-of-sale. We manufacture express mail packages for the overnight courier industry, provide inserts and labels, as well as rigid packaging and other printed packaging products, such as transaction cards (e.g., credit, debit, etc.), brochures, product literature, marketing materials (such as booklets, folders, inserts, cover sheets and slipcases)

4


 

and grower tags and plant stakes for the horticultural market. For the global healthcare market, we manufacture paperboard packaging for over-the-counter and prescription drugs. Our customers generally use our inserts and labels to provide customer product information either inside a secondary package (e.g., a folding carton) or affixed to the outside of a primary package (e.g., a bottle). Folding cartons typically protect customers’ products during shipment and distribution, and employ graphics to promote them at retail. We manufacture folding cartons from recycled and virgin paperboard, laminated paperboard and various substrates with specialty characteristics, such as grease masking and microwaveability. We print, coat, die-cut and glue the cartons to customer specifications and ship finished cartons to customers for assembling, filling and sealing. We employ a broad range of offset, flexographic, gravure, backside printing, coating and finishing technologies, as well as iridescent, holographic, textured and dimensional effects to provide differentiated packaging products, and support our customers with new package development, innovation and design services and package testing services. Prior to divesting our interior partitions operations in September 2023, we manufactured and sold our solid fiber and corrugated partitions and die-cut paperboard components principally to glass container manufacturers, producers of beer, food, wine, spirits, cosmetics and pharmaceuticals, and the automotive industry.

Sales of consumer packaging products to external customers accounted for 24.2%, 23.2% and 23.5% of our net sales in fiscal 2023, 2022 and 2021, respectively. See “Note 8. Segment Information” of the Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements, as well as Item 7. “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations”, for additional information.

Global Paper Segment

Our Global Paper segment consists of our commercial paper operations and generates its revenues primarily from the sale of containerboard, paperboard and specialty grades to external customers, and we serve primarily corrugated packaging, folding carton, food service, liquid packaging, tobacco and commercial print markets. We sell our products globally to customers who value our scale, wide range of products, and service. Sales of global paper products to external customers accounted for 21.5%, 27.9% and 26.6% of our net sales in fiscal 2023, 2022 and 2021, respectively. See “Note 8. Segment Information” of the Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements, as well as Item 7. “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations”, for additional information.

Distribution Segment

Our Distribution segment consists of our distribution and display assembly operations and generates its revenues primarily from the distribution of packaging products and assembly of display products. We distribute corrugated packaging materials and other specialty packaging products, including stretch film, void fill, carton sealing tape and other specialty tapes, through our network of warehouses and distribution facilities. We also provide contract packing services, such as multi-product promotional packing and product manipulation, such as multipacks and onpacks. Sales in our Distribution segment to external customers accounted for 6.2%, 6.6% and 6.7% of our net sales in fiscal 2023, 2022 and 2021, respectively. See “Note 8. Segment Information” of the Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements, as well as Item 7. “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations”, for additional information.

Seasonality

While our businesses are not materially impacted by seasonality, there is some variability in demand that occurs from quarter to quarter, with net sales in the first quarter of each fiscal year typically being the lowest. As such, we disclose net sales, Adjusted EBITDA (as hereinafter defined) and shipment data by segment by quarter in Item 7. “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations”. Generally, we expect more of our earnings and cash flows to be generated in the second half of the fiscal year than in the first half of the fiscal year due to these variations and other factors, including the timing of scheduled mill maintenance outages.

Raw Materials

The primary raw materials used by our mill operations are recycled fiber at our recycled containerboard and paperboard mills and virgin fiber from hardwoods and softwoods at our virgin containerboard and paperboard mills. Certain of our virgin containerboard is manufactured with some recycled fiber content. Our overall fiber sourcing for

5


 

all of our mills is approximately 60% virgin and 40% recycled. See Item 2. Properties” for additional information. Recycled fiber prices and virgin fiber prices can fluctuate significantly. Recycled fiber costs were lower in fiscal 2023 compared to fiscal 2022, while virgin fiber costs were relatively flat in fiscal 2023 compared to fiscal 2022.

Containerboard and paperboard are the primary raw materials used by our converting operations. Our converting operations use many different grades of containerboard and paperboard. We supply substantially all of our converting operations' needs for containerboard and paperboard from our own mills and through the use of trade swaps with other manufacturers. These arrangements allow us to optimize our mill system and reduce freight costs. Because there are other suppliers that produce the necessary grades of containerboard and paperboard used in our converting operations, we believe we would be able to source significant replacement quantities from other suppliers in the event that we incur production disruptions for recycled or virgin containerboard and paperboard.

Energy

Energy is one of the most significant costs of our mill operations. The cost of natural gas, coal, oil, electricity and purchased biomass fuel at times has fluctuated significantly. In our recycled paperboard mills, we use primarily natural gas and electricity, supplemented at certain mills with fuel oil, to generate steam used in the paper making process. In our virgin fiber mills, we use biomass, natural gas, fuel oil and coal to generate steam used in the pulping and paper making processes and to generate some or all the electricity used on site. We primarily use purchased electricity and natural gas to operate our converting facilities. We generally purchase these products from suppliers at market or tariff rates. Our energy costs decreased in fiscal 2023 compared to fiscal 2022. From time to time, we use commodity contracts to hedge energy exposures. See Item 1. Business — Governmental Regulation — Environmental and Item 7A. “Quantitative and Qualitative Disclosures About Market Risk — “Energy” and “Derivative Instruments / Forward Contracts” for additional information.

Transportation

Inbound and outbound freight is a significant cost for us. Factors that influence our freight expense are distance between shipping and delivery locations, distance from our facilities to customers and suppliers, mode of transportation (rail, truck, intermodal and ocean) and freight rates, which are influenced by supply and demand and fuel costs. Freight costs continued to increase in fiscal 2023 compared to fiscal 2022. The principal markets for our products are in North America, South America, Europe, Asia and Australia.

Sales and Marketing

None of our external customers individually accounted for more than 10% of our consolidated net sales in fiscal 2023. We generally manufacture our products pursuant to our customers’ orders. We believe that we have good relationships with our customers.

As a result of our vertical integration, our mill utilization may be directly impacted by changes in demand for our packaging products. During fiscal 2023, approximately two-thirds of our coated natural kraft tons shipped, approximately three-fifths of our coated recycled paperboard tons shipped and approximately one-fifth of our bleached paperboard tons shipped were delivered to our converting operations, primarily to manufacture folding cartons, and approximately four-fifths of our containerboard tons shipped, including trade swaps and buy/sell transactions, were delivered to our converting operations to manufacture corrugated products. We have the ability to move our internal sourcing among certain of our mills to optimize the efficiency of our operations. We believe that our ability to leverage our full portfolio of differentiated solutions and capabilities enables us to set ourselves apart from our competitors.

We market our products primarily through our own sales force. We also market a number of our products through independent sales representatives and independent distributors. We generally pay our sales personnel a combination of base salary, commissions and annual bonus. We pay our independent sales representatives on a commission basis. Orders from our customers generally do not have significant lead times. We discuss net sales to unaffiliated customers through our foreign operations and other financial information in Note 8. Segment Information of the Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements.

6


 

Competition

We operate in a competitive global marketplace. The industries in which we operate are highly competitive, and no single company dominates any of those industries. Our containerboard and paperboard operations compete with integrated and non-integrated national and regional companies operating primarily in North America, and to a limited extent, manufacturers outside of North America. Our competitors include large and small, vertically integrated companies and numerous smaller non-integrated companies. In the corrugated packaging and folding carton markets, we compete with a significant number of national, regional and local packaging suppliers in North America and abroad. In the promotional point-of-purchase display and converted paperboard products markets, we primarily compete with a smaller number of national, regional and local companies offering highly specialized products.

Since all of our businesses operate in highly competitive industry segments, we regularly discuss sales opportunities for new business or for renewal of existing business with customers. Our packaging products compete with packaging made from other materials, including plastics. The primary competitive factors we face include price, design, product innovation, quality, service and sustainability, with varying emphasis on these factors depending on the product line and customer preferences. Our machinery solutions represent one example of how we compete by providing differentiated solutions that create value for our customers. We believe that we compete effectively with respect to each of these factors and we obtain feedback on our performance with periodic customer surveys, among other means.

The industries in which we operate have undergone consolidation. Within the packaging products industry, larger customers, with an expanded geographic presence, have tended to seek suppliers that can, because of their broad geographic presence, efficiently and economically supply all or a range of their packaging needs. In addition, our customers continue to demand higher quality products meeting increasingly strict quality control requirements. Increasing demand for more sustainable products is also impacting our industry. See Item 1. Business — Sustainability for additional information.

Governmental Regulation

Health and Safety

Our business involves the use of heavy equipment, machinery and chemicals and requires the performance of activities that create safety exposures. Safeguarding the health, safety and overall welfare of our team is a top concern and critical to attracting and retaining the best talent, while also playing a pivotal role in realizing our business and sustainability objectives. We implement our health and safety requirements through a comprehensive, company-wide Safety Excellence System that includes global policies, performance standards, implementation tools, guidance documents, standardized forms, best practice sharing and operational learning. We seek to reduce exposures and eliminate life changing events through engagement, execution of targeted, results-driven activities, and implementation of systems that promote continuous improvement.

We are subject to a broad range of foreign, federal, state and local laws and regulations relating to occupational health and safety, and our safety program includes measures required for compliance. We have incurred, and will continue to incur, operating costs and capital expenditures to meet our health and safety compliance requirements, as well as to continually improve our safety systems. We believe that future compliance with occupational health and safety laws and regulations will not have a material adverse effect on our results of operations, financial condition or cash flows.

Certain governmental authorities in locations where we do business have established asbestos standards for the workplace. Although we do not use asbestos in manufacturing our products, asbestos containing material (“ACM”) is present in some of the facilities we own or lease. For those facilities where ACM is present and ACM is subject to regulation, we have established procedures for properly managing it.

Environmental

Environmental compliance requirements are a significant factor affecting our business. Our manufacturing processes involve the use of natural resources, such as virgin wood fiber and fresh water, discharges to water, air emissions and waste handling and disposal activities. These processes are subject to numerous federal, state, local

7


 

and international environmental laws and regulations, as well as the requirements of environmental permits and similar authorizations issued by various governmental authorities.

We estimate that we will invest approximately $103 million for capital expenditures during fiscal 2024 in connection with matters relating to environmental compliance. It is possible that our capital expenditure assumptions and project completion dates may change, and our projections are subject to change due to factors such as the finalization of ongoing engineering projects and changes in environmental laws and regulations.

See “Note 19. Commitments and Contingencies — Environmental” of the Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements for additional information.

Sustainability

 

At WestRock, our sustainability program is represented by three pillars:

Supporting People and Communities
Bettering the Planet
Innovating for Our Customers and Their Customers

We have a long history of recycling and are one of the largest recyclers in the paper industry. Our recycling operations collect recovered fiber that is used by our own paper mills and by others to produce new paper products.

The virgin wood fiber used in our manufacturing operation is sourced from responsibly managed forests. Our North American virgin fiber sourcing regions are certified to the Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI®) 2022 Fiber Sourcing standard. Our forestland in Brazil is certified to the Brazilian Forest Certification Programme (CERFLOR®), the Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC®) and the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC®). To provide traceability for the virgin fiber used in our operations, nearly 100% of our wholly owned fiber-based manufacturing facilities have been chain-of-custody certified to internationally recognized standards such as SFI®, PEFC® and FSC®.

Climate Change

 

Sustainability and innovation are fundamental to our business, and we are working to improve the carbon footprint of our manufacturing operations by setting targets to reduce greenhouse gas (“GHG”) emissions and developing projects to become more energy efficient. Our integrated kraft paper mills, our most energy-intensive manufacturing facilities, currently burn renewable biomass to generate approximately 70% of their energy needs. Most of these facilities also self-generate the steam and electricity needed for their manufacturing processes using efficient combined heat and power or “cogeneration” systems. During fiscal 2023, our recycling operations helped to divert approximately six million tons of paper and packaging that might otherwise go into landfills where it might degrade and release GHGs. Our fiber procurement activities create economic incentives for landowners and family tree farmers to maintain their holdings as working forests that sequester carbon and provide many other environmental benefits, including protection for fresh water supplies and habitats for diverse species of plants and animals.

Governance

Board-level oversight of climate and other sustainability matters resides with the Nominating and Corporate Governance Committee of the board of directors, and six members of the board of directors have sustainability experience.

In addition to board-level oversight, we have robust management-level oversight of sustainability matters. WestRock’s executive leadership team is responsible for establishing our sustainability strategy, including with respect to climate-related issues. Our Senior Vice President of Strategy and Sustainability, who reports to our President, Global Paper, is responsible for providing guidance on our sustainability approach, helping to link our sustainability and business initiatives and driving implementation of our sustainability strategy throughout the organization in collaboration with other executives. Our Vice President, Sustainability, manages day-to-day implementation of this strategy. In addition to our sustainability executives, we have established cross-functional groups within the organization to facilitate ongoing refinement and execution of our sustainability strategy, develop

8


 

plans to achieve our sustainability targets and embed our sustainability targets into our operations. These groups include representatives from our product stewardship, environmental, innovation, engineering, manufacturing, finance, legal and communications groups.

 

Targets and Metrics

 

In 2022, we validated science-based targets ("SBT") for GHG emissions reduction aligned to a well below 2-degree Celsius ambition. Our SBT involves reducing absolute Scope 1 and 2 GHG emissions 27.5% by 2030 from a 2019 baseline year. The SBT also includes a reduction in absolute Scope 3 GHG emissions from purchased goods and services, fuel and energy activities, upstream and downstream transportation and distribution, and end-of-life treatment of sold products by 27.5% within the same timeframe.

Strategy

 

We expect our SBT to guide our work as we plan, invest in, organize, and develop projects to reduce our GHG emissions. Our strategy for achieving our SBT is multi-faceted and includes consideration of several alternatives that can be deployed in combination, including energy efficiency projects, fuel switching, low carbon technology investments, electricity grid decarbonization, physical and renewable power purchase agreements and manufacturing footprint rationalizations. Based on our actions to date, the amount we expect to invest to achieve our SBT is not material. We have processes for regularly evaluating and optimizing our SBT strategy to account for changes in markets dynamics and customer preferences, our business operations, laws and regulations and climate science.

 

We have also embedded carbon considerations into our capital planning processes. Our capital project approval form includes a tool that provides project developers, reviewers, and approvers with information on whether their proposed investment will add to or reduce GHG emissions from the affected facility. The tool also can be used to assess potential project impacts on water intake and solid waste generation. This process is designed to increase awareness of GHG emissions and other environmental impacts within the organization and to provide us with information to use in optimizing our SBT and sustainability strategies.

 

Opportunities and Risks

Climate change presents certain opportunities and risks for our business.

Our climate-related opportunities include:

Increasing our sales of fiber-based packaging by capitalizing on shifting consumer preferences for products that advance the circular economy and reduce or replace single-use, fossil fuel-based plastics.

Expanding our installed base of packaging machinery solutions, which have the potential to improve customers’ GHG profiles by optimizing raw material usage, improving manufacturing efficiencies and reducing or eliminating plastic waste.

Attracting investors and talented employees, as well as cultivating positive relationships with communities where we operate and with other stakeholders, by demonstrating our leadership in sustainability with our sustainability targets, including our SBT.

Improving the resiliency of our energy supply chain and potentially lowering our operating costs by reducing or eliminating fossil fuels such as coal and oil.

Our climate-related risks include:

Lost production and damage to our physical assets and infrastructure, including our manufacturing facilities, as a result of severe weather-related events, such as hurricanes, tornadoes, other extreme storms, wildfires and floods.

9


 

Supply chain disruptions and increased material costs, such as through impacts to virgin fiber supplies and prices, during prolonged periods of heavy rain, heat, drought, tree disease or insect epidemics or other environmental events that may be caused by variations in conditions.

Additional compliance costs and burdens resulting from the enactment of new laws and regulations aimed at reducing carbon emissions, which could take the form of cap-and-trade, carbon taxes or a GHG reduction mandate.

Higher prices for certain raw materials and fuels, including natural gas, related to the transition to a lower-carbon economy or the enactment of GHG reduction mandates. Also, new climate rules and regulations that result in fuel efficiency standards could increase WestRock’s transportation costs.

Increased capital expenditures and/or operating costs to meet our SBT, which could deviate materially from our initial estimates.

Reputational risk tied to customer or other stakeholder perceptions if we are unable to achieve our SBT fully or on time due to various risks and uncertainties or if customer or other stakeholder expectations increase beyond our current SBT commitment, requiring increased capital expenditures and/or operating costs.

 

Certain jurisdictions in which we have manufacturing facilities or other investments have already taken actions to address climate change. In the United States ("U.S."), the Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) has issued the Clean Air Act permitting regulations applicable to certain facilities that emit GHG. The EPA has also promulgated a rule requiring certain industrial facilities that emit 25,000 metric tons or more of carbon dioxide equivalent per year to file an annual report of their emissions. While we have U.S. facilities subject to existing GHG permitting and reporting requirements, the impact of these requirements has not been material to date. In addition to these national efforts, some U.S. states in which we have manufacturing operations, including Washington, New York, and Virginia, are taking measures to reduce GHG emissions, such as requiring GHG emissions reporting or developing regional cap-and-trade programs.

 

Several of our international facilities are in countries that have already adopted GHG emissions trading or other regulatory programs. Other countries in which we conduct business, including China, European Union member states and India, have set GHG reduction targets in accordance with the agreement among over 170 countries that established a framework for reducing global GHG emissions (also known as the “Paris Agreement”), which became effective in November 2016 and which the United States formally rejoined in February 2021.

 

We have systems in place for tracking the GHG emissions from our energy-intensive facilities, and we monitor developments in climate-related laws, regulations, and policies to assess the potential impact of such developments on our results of operations, financial condition, cash flows and disclosure obligations. Compliance with climate programs may require future expenditures to meet GHG emission reduction obligations. These obligations may include carbon taxes, the requirement to purchase GHG credits, or the need to acquire carbon offsets. Also, we may be required to make capital and other investments to displace traditional fossil fuels, such as fuel oil and coal, with lower carbon alternatives, such as biomass and natural gas.

Additional information regarding our GHG targets and strategy are available in our 2022 Sustainability Report, which we prepared in accordance with the Global Reporting Initiative 2021 Universal Standards and relevant Topic Standards Option. The report includes a crosswalk to relevant Sustainability Accounting Standards Board disclosure topics and an index of climate information informed by the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures framework. The topics discussed above and discussed within our 2022 Sustainability Report may not be considered material for SEC reporting purposes. Our sustainability reports are available on our website at www.westrock.com/sustainability. The information contained in our sustainability reports is not incorporated by reference into this Form 10-K and should not be considered part of this or any other report that we file with or furnish to the SEC.

Patents and Other Intellectual Property

We hold a substantial number of foreign and domestic trademarks, trademark applications, trade names,

10


 

patents, patent applications and licenses relating to our business, our products and our production processes. Our patent portfolio consists primarily of utility patents relating to our products and manufacturing operations, including proprietary automated packaging systems. Our company name and logo, and certain of our products and services, are protected by domestic and foreign trademarks. Our patents, trademarks and other intellectual property rights, particularly those relating to our manufacturing operations, are important to our operations as a whole. Our intellectual property has various expiration dates.

Human Capital

Overview

 

WestRock aims to recruit, develop, and retain diverse, best-in-class talent. To foster their and our success, we seek to create an environment where people can do their best work – a place where they can be their authentic selves, guided by our values. We strive to maximize the potential of our human capital resources by creating a respectful, rewarding, and inclusive work environment.

 

The capabilities of our workforce have evolved as our business and strategy have evolved. We continuously hire for and develop for the new capabilities we need today and for what we expect in the future. We have invested in our commercial, operations, innovation, digital and systems, and technical training capabilities.

At September 30, 2023, we employed approximately 56,100 people, approximately 90% were in sales and operations, including manufacturing, distribution, product and services support; and approximately 10% were in general and administration, including groups such as finance, human resources, information technology, legal and supply chain. Approximately 65% were located in the U.S. and Canada and 35% were located in Europe, South America, Mexico and Asia Pacific. Of the approximately 56,100 employees, approximately 71% were hourly and 29% were salaried. Approximately 54% of our hourly employees in the U.S. and Canada are covered by collective bargaining agreements (“CBAs”), which typically have four to six-year terms. Approximately 25% of those employees covered under CBAs are operating under local agreements that expire within one year and approximately 11% of those employees are governed under expired local contracts.

While we have experienced isolated work stoppages from time to time, we believe that working relationships with our employees are generally good. From October 2022 to February 2023, we experienced a defensive lockout at our Mahrt mill in Cottonton, AL and have experienced a strike at our corrugated converting facility in Dayton, NJ since June 2023. We effectuated contingency plans at both locations and both facilities continued to operate and produce products for our customers. We recently reached a tentative agreement to resolve the strike at the Dayton facility, subject to approval of the requisite union membership.

In December 2019, the United Steelworkers Union (“USW”) ratified a master agreement that applies to substantially all of our U.S. facilities represented by the USW. The agreement has a four-year term and covers a number of specific items, including wages, medical coverage and certain other benefit programs, substance abuse testing, and safety. Individual facilities will continue to have local agreements for subjects not covered by the master agreement and those agreements will continue to have staggered terms. The master agreement permits us to apply its terms to USW employees who work at facilities we acquire during the term of the agreement. The master agreement covers approximately 51 of our U.S. operating locations and approximately 7,300 of our employees. While the terms of our CBAs vary, we believe the material terms of the agreements are customary for the industry, the type of facility, the classification of the employees and the geographic location covered. Negotiations towards a new master agreement commenced in November 2023, and a tentative agreement has been reached. It remains subject to approval of the requisite union membership.

 

Culture

WestRock’s culture is grounded in our values of integrity, respect, accountability and excellence.

 

At the core of our employee listening systems is our bi-annual engagement survey, which is augmented with employee pulse checks after hire and promotion, and exit interviews/surveys. These surveys enable us to gather feedback directly from our workforce to inform our programs and employee needs globally. In 2023, 89% of WestRock team members participated in the engagement survey and 77% of global team members participated in the 2022 pulse survey. The 2023 engagement survey showed a slight increase to 77% in engagement when

11


 

compared to the 2021 full engagement survey of 75%. The engagement survey and pulse check covered topics such as company strategy and direction, leadership, inclusion, safety, teamwork, manager effectiveness, culture, pay and benefits, and learning and development. WestRock results compared favorably to the manufacturing benchmark across multiple indices: engagement, manager effectiveness, communication, growth & development, well-being and behavior change.

 

Diversity, Inclusion, Equity and Belonging

 

We are dedicated to creating a work environment where all team members feel that they belong, are respected and valued, and can do our best work.

 

At September 30, 2023, 24% of our global workforce was comprised of women and 36% of our U.S. based workforce was comprised of people of color. Our board of directors includes four women (representing 33% of directors) and two people of color (representing 17% of directors). We have implemented a multi-year Diversity, Inclusion, Equity and Belonging (“diversity and inclusion”) action plan that we expect will increase our workforce diversity, advance inclusion, equity and belonging throughout the company, accelerate the development and career movement of diverse talent and ensure diverse succession plans.

 

In fiscal 2023, the annual short-term incentive plan for our CEO, our senior leadership team and their direct reports included an evaluation and measurement of progress in the metrics and programs that directly support diversity and inclusion, such as:

 

Talent acquisition and retention metrics
Learning and development programs for team members
Representation progress within and across career streams

 

In fiscal 2022, we partnered with external experts and developed a learning experience focused on unconscious bias and in fiscal 2023, we delivered tailored workshops for 77% of our U.S. hourly employees, 63% of our global hourly workforce, 82% of our U.S. salaried workforce and 71% of our global salaried workforce. This experience is one example of how we are expanding awareness and building the skill set and mindset to develop a more inclusive environment. In fiscal 2023, we developed a learning experience focused on leading inclusively and delivered training for 75% of our U.S. salaried workforce.

 

In collaboration with organizations, such as the Executive Leadership Council, Calibr, Harvard Program for Women, Pathways and Signature, we provide external development opportunities for our diverse talent. To connect and develop team members within WestRock, we support highly engaged Resource Groups for team members who are early in career, women, racial and ethnic minorities, veterans, who identify as LGBTQIA+ or have differing abilities and their allies.

 

Health and Safety

 

We are committed to supporting our team members’ health and safety. We have an extensive safety program that is implemented at our sites and includes a focus on eliminating safety exposures and reducing life-changing events ("LCE"), recordable incidents and lost workdays. Including the operations from the Mexico Acquisition in both periods, in fiscal 2023, we achieved year-over-year improvements in LCEs and recordable incident rate, while lost workdays increased compared to the prior year. Our safety results continue to trend favorably compared to industry performance. We are continuing our focus on human and organizational performance and are conducting training in the U.S. and internationally, which is focused on continuous safety improvement and the relationships that exist among systems, processes, equipment and people to drive better safety practices.

 

Talent Attraction, Retention and Development

 

The attraction, retention and development of team members is critical to our success. We accomplish this, in part, by seeking to develop the capabilities of our team members through our continuous learning, development and performance management programs. These programs include our safety, six sigma, supply chain, leadership, commercial and operational development programs.

We invest in our leadership through the Leadership Excellence, Elevate and Essentials programs; and we invest in our commercial teams through quarterly product training, best practice sharing, and development workshops that

12


 

focus on the commercial capabilities needed today and tomorrow to anticipate and meet our customers’ changing requirements.

In fiscal 2022, we initiated the deployment of common equipment and reliability operations/technical training across our sites with a focus on our newest hires. We continue to invest in technical development curriculum so that we continue to build leading technical, engineering, operational talent. We continue to leverage our online learning library, which has over 8,500 courses and 200 playlists by topic area or experience/skill set.

We sponsor early in career rotations and college hire programs that support our functions and local operations. We build partnerships with schools, universities and associations to promote future careers in manufacturing. During fiscal 2023, we continued to invest in people, programs and systems to meet the increased talent demand in a dynamic marketplace. We have expanded our relationships with historically black colleges and universities, the National Association of Manufacturers and other partners and associations. In partnership with the Manufacturing Institute and Skill Bridge, we provide onboarding and transition support for our early in career talent and new military hires.

 

Total Rewards

 

Our total rewards programs are designed to offer competitive compensation, comprehensive benefits and other programs to support employees’ growth, both personally and professionally, and the diverse needs and well-being of our employees worldwide. We believe the structure of our compensation and benefit programs provide the appropriate incentives to attract, retain and motivate our employees. We provide base pay that is competitive and that aligns with employee positions, skill levels, experience and geographic location. In addition to base pay, we seek to reward employees with annual incentive awards, recognition programs, and equity awards for employees at certain job levels.

 

Employee benefits packages may include: 401(k) plan, pension plan, core and supplemental life insurance, financial courses and advisors, employee assistance programs, tuition assistance, family planning and adoption assistance, medical and dental insurance, vision insurance, health savings accounts, health reimbursement and flexible spending accounts, well-being rewards programs, vacation pay, holiday pay, and parental and adoption leave.

Over the past two years, we enhanced certain of the Company’s benefits and practices to support the health and well-being of our employees through the challenges of the pandemic and significant supply chain disruptions caused by winter storms and natural disasters. In the fall of 2022, we announced the opportunity for part time work and benefits effective January 2023 for employees who work 20 hours or greater each week. We believe this added work and schedule flexibility will position us to better meet the needs of employees, customers, and manufacturing sites and leverage new sources of talent.

International Operations

Our operations outside the U.S. are conducted through subsidiaries located in Canada, Latin America, Asia Pacific, and Europe, Middle East and Africa ("EMEA"). Sales attributable to non-U.S. operations were 24.4%, 18.3% and 18.3% of our net sales in fiscal 2023, 2022 and 2021, respectively, some of which were transacted in U.S. dollars. See Note 8. Segment Information of the Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements for additional information.

Available Information

Our Internet address is https://www.ir.westrock.com. Our Internet address is included herein as an inactive textual reference only. The information contained on our website, including our 2022 Sustainability Report, is not incorporated by reference herein and should not be considered part of this report. We file annual, quarterly and current reports, proxy statements (and any amendments thereto) and other information with the SEC and we make available free of charge most of our SEC filings through our Internet website as soon as reasonably practicable after filing with the SEC. You may access these SEC filings via the hyperlink that we provide on our website to a third-party SEC filings website. We also make available on our website our board committee charters, as well as the corporate governance guidelines adopted by our board of directors, our Code of Conduct for employees, our Code of Conduct and Ethics for the Board of Directors and our Code of Ethical Conduct for Chief Executive Officer (“CEO”) and Senior Financial Officers. Any amendments to, or waiver from, any provision of these codes that are

13


 

required to be disclosed will be posted on our website. We will also provide copies of these documents, without charge, at the written request of any stockholder of record. Requests for copies should be mailed to: WestRock Company, 1000 Abernathy Road NE, Atlanta, Georgia 30328, Attention: Corporate Secretary.

 

Forward-Looking Statements

Statements in this report that do not relate strictly to historical facts are forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Forward-looking statements are based on the Company’s current expectations, beliefs, plans or forecasts and use words such as “may”, “will”, “could”, “should”, “would”, “anticipate”, “intend”, “estimate”, “project”, “plan”, “believe”, “expect”, “target”, "prospects", “potential”, "commit" and "forecast", or words of similar import or meaning or refer to future time periods. Forward-looking statements involve estimates, expectations, projections, goals, targets, forecasts, assumptions, risks and uncertainties. A forward-looking statement is not a guarantee of future performance, and actual results could differ materially from those contained in the forward-looking statement.

Forward-looking statements are subject to a number of assumptions, risks and uncertainties, many of which are beyond our control, such as developments related to pricing cycles and volumes; economic, competitive and market conditions generally, including macroeconomic uncertainty, customer inventory rebalancing, the impact of inflation and increases in energy, raw materials, shipping, labor and capital equipment costs; reduced supply of raw materials, energy and transportation, including from supply chain disruptions and labor shortages; intense competition; results and impacts of acquisitions, including operational and financial effects from the Mexico Acquisition and divestitures; business disruptions, including the occurrence of severe weather or a natural disaster or other unanticipated problems, such as labor difficulties, equipment failure or unscheduled maintenance and repair; or public health crises; failure to respond to changing customer preferences and to protect our intellectual property; the amount and timing of capital expenditures, including installation costs, project development and implementation costs, and costs related to resolving disputes with third parties with which we work to manage and implement capital projects; risks related to international sales and operations; the production of faulty or contaminated products; the loss of certain customers; adverse legal, reputational, operational and financial effects resulting from information security incidents and the effectiveness of business continuity plans during a ransomware or other cyber incident; work stoppages and other labor relations difficulties; inability to attract, motivate and retain qualified personnel, including as a result of the proposed Transaction; risks associated with sustainability and climate change, including our ability to achieve sustainability targets and commitments and realize climate-related opportunities on announced timelines or at all; our inability to successfully identify and make performance improvements and deliver cost savings and risks associated with completing strategic projects on anticipated timelines and realizing anticipated financial or operational improvements on announced timelines or at all, including with respect to our business systems transformation; risks related to the proposed Transaction, including our ability to complete the Transaction on the anticipated timeline, or at all, restrictions imposed on our business under the Transaction Agreement, disruptions to our business while the proposed Transaction is pending, the impact of management’s time and attention being focused on consummation of the proposed Transaction, costs associated with the proposed Transaction, and integration difficulties; risks related to our indebtedness, including increases in interest rates; the scope, costs, timing and impact of any restructuring of our operations and corporate and tax structure; the scope, timing and outcome of any litigation, claims or other proceedings or dispute resolutions and the impact of any such litigation (including with respect to the Brazil tax liability matter); and additional impairment charges. Such risks and other factors that may impact forward-looking statements are discussed in Item 1A. “Risk Factors”. The information contained herein speaks as of the date hereof, and the Company 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, except to the extent required by law. Forward-looking statements, including projections herein, could also change as a result of consummation of the proposed Transaction.

Item 1A. RISK FACTORS

We are subject to certain risks and events that have adversely affected and/or may in the future adversely affect our results of operations, cash flows and financial condition, and the trading price of our Common Stock. In evaluating our business and any investment in our securities, you should consider the following risk factors and the other information presented in this report, as well as the other reports and registration statements we file from time to time with the SEC. Additional risks not currently known to us or that we currently believe to be immaterial could also adversely impact our business.

14


 

Market and Industry Risks

We Have Been, And May In the Future Be, Adversely Affected by Factors That Are Beyond Our Control, Such as U.S. and Worldwide Economic and Financial Market Conditions, and Geopolitical Conflicts and Other Social and Political Unrest or Change

 

Our businesses have been, and may be, adversely affected by a number of factors that are beyond our control, including, but not limited to:

 

macroeconomic and business conditions, including deteriorating macroeconomic conditions and related supply and demand dynamics, as well as inflation and deflation;

 

geopolitical conflicts and other social and political unrest or change, and other changes impacting matters such as tax policy, sustainability, environmental regulations and trade policies and agreements;

conditions in the financial services markets, including counterparty risk, insurance carrier risk, rising interest rates, rising commodity prices, fluctuations in the value of local currency versus the U.S. dollar and the impact of a stronger U.S. dollar, which may impact price and demand for our products;

financial uncertainties in our major international markets; and

government deficit reduction and other austerity measures in specific countries or regions, or in the various industries in which we operate.

 

We are continuing to experience lower demand for certain products due to factors such as, but not limited to, challenging macroeconomic conditions, certain customer inventory rebalancing and shifting consumer spending, which has resulted in, among other things, elevated levels of economic downtime, lower production and lower profitability. These conditions have in the past contributed to, and may in the future contribute to, impairment charges. The impact may be further exacerbated if these conditions lead to higher unemployment rates, lower family income, unfavorable currency exchange rates, lower corporate earnings, lower business investment, lower consumer spending or confidence and/or continued shifts in consumer spending. The global economy also continues to experience elevated levels of inflation, and we experienced cost inflation across our business in fiscal 2023, albeit at moderating levels since fiscal 2022. Persistent inflation results in higher manufacturing and transportation costs, which we may not be able to recover through higher prices charged to our customers, particularly given the present dislocation between price and inflation.

In addition, changes in trade policy, including renegotiating or potentially terminating, existing bilateral or multilateral agreements, as well as the imposition of tariffs, could impact demand for our products and the costs associated with certain of our capital investments. Macroeconomic challenges may also lead to changes in tax laws or tax rates that may have a material impact on our future cash taxes, effective tax rate or deferred tax assets and liabilities.

Our results of operations, cash flows and financial condition, and the trading price of our Common Stock could be further adversely affected, perhaps materially, by any of these matters.

 

We Are Subject to Pricing Cycles, Which May Continue to Materially Adversely Affect Our Businesses

 

We have experienced, and are likely to continue experiencing, pricing cycles relating to industry capacity and macroeconomic conditions. The length and magnitude of these cycles have varied over time and by product. Prices for our products are driven by many factors, including macroeconomic conditions, demand for our products and competitive conditions in the industries in which we serve, and we have little influence over the timing and extent of price changes, which may be unpredictable and volatile. Where supply exceeds demand, prices for our products could decline, and our results of operations, cash flows and financial condition, and the trading price of our Common Stock have been, and may continue to be, adversely affected. We believe that the trading price of our Common Stock has been adversely affected in part due to the impact of macroeconomic conditions on pricing and demand and announcements by certain of our competitors of planned additional capacity in the North American containerboard market, as well as the subsequent implementation of certain of those plans and the impact it will have on future supply and demand dynamics and pricing.

 

15


 

Many of our customer contracts include price adjustment provisions based upon published indices (including those published by Pulp and Paper Week (“PPW”)) for our products that contribute to the setting of selling prices for some of our products. PPW is a limited survey that may not accurately reflect changes in market conditions for our products. Changes in how these indices are determined or maintained, or other indices are established or maintained, could adversely impact the selling prices for these products. Published containerboard and paperboard prices declined during fiscal 2023, which will result in lower prices, and likely lower profitability, for certain of our products.

Our Earnings Are Highly Dependent on Volumes

Because our operations generally have high fixed operating costs, our earnings are highly dependent on volumes, which tend to fluctuate due to macroeconomic conditions, supply and demand dynamics in the markets we serve, and due to company and customer specific issues. We are presently experiencing lower demand for certain products due to factors such as, but not limited to, challenging macroeconomic conditions, certain customer inventory rebalancing and shifting consumer spending. These fluctuations at times lead to significant variability in our sales, results of operations, cash flow and financial condition, making it difficult to predict our financial results with certainty. This variability in performance due to fluctuations in volumes may also cause the trading price of our Common Stock to be adversely affected.

The COVID-19 pandemic (“COVID”) affected our operational and financial performance to varying degrees. The extent of the impact of future public health crises, including a resurgence of COVID, or related containment measures and government responses, are highly uncertain and cannot be predicted, including as it relates to demand and volume. Any failure to maintain volumes may materially adversely affect our results of operations, cash flows and financial condition, and the trading price of our Common Stock.

We May Face Increased Costs For, or Inadequate Availability of, Raw Materials, Energy and Transportation

We rely heavily on the use of certain raw materials, energy sources and third-party companies for transportation services.

 

The costs of recycled fiber and virgin fiber, the principal externally sourced raw materials for our paper mills, are subject to pricing variability due to market and industry conditions. Demand for recycled fiber has fluctuated and may increase due to, among other factors, increased consumption of recycled fiber, including through additions of new recycled paper mill capacity, and increasing demand for products packaged in packaging made with paper manufactured from recycled fiber.

 

The market price of virgin fiber varies based on the availability and source of virgin fiber, and the availability of virgin fiber may be impacted by, among other factors, weather conditions and the housing market. In addition, costs for key chemicals used in our manufacturing operations fluctuate, which impacts our manufacturing costs. Certain published indices contribute to price setting for some of our raw materials and future changes in how these indices are established or maintained, as well as their performance, could adversely impact the pricing of these raw materials.

 

The cost of natural gas, coal, oil, electricity and purchased biomass fuel, all of which we use in our business, at times has fluctuated significantly. In fiscal 2022, the price of the natural gas consumed in our manufacturing operations increased significantly compared to fiscal 2021 and continued to increase in fiscal 2023 before declining during the last half of fiscal 2023 compared to fiscal 2022. When energy costs increase, leading to increases in our operating costs, they could make our products less competitive compared to similar or alternative products offered by competitors.

 

We distribute our products primarily by truck and rail, although we also distribute some of our products by cargo ship. The reduced availability of trucks, rail cars or cargo ships, including as a result of labor shortages in the transportation industry, could adversely impact our ability to distribute our products in a timely or cost-effective manner. We experienced higher freight costs and some distribution delays in the first half of fiscal 2023 and both fiscal 2022 and 2021. While we have generally been able to manage through these issues and have not experienced material disruptions in our ability to serve our customers, they have resulted in significantly higher costs for transportation services. High transportation costs could make our products less competitive compared to similar or alternative products offered by competitors.

16


 

 

Because our businesses operate in highly competitive industry segments, we may not be able to recoup past or future increases in the cost of raw materials, energy or transportation through price increases for our products, particularly given the present dislocation between price and inflation. The failure to obtain raw materials, energy or transportation services at reasonable market prices (or the failure to pass on price increases to our customers) or a reduction in the availability of raw materials, energy or transportation services due to increased demand, significant changes in climate or weather conditions, or other factors could adversely affect our results of operations, cash flows and financial condition, and the trading price of our Common Stock.

We Face Intense Competition

We compete in industries that are highly competitive. Our competitors include large and small, vertically integrated companies and numerous smaller non-integrated companies. We generally compete with companies operating in North America, although we have operations spanning North America, South America, Europe, Asia and Australia. Factors affecting our ability to compete include the entry of new competitors into the markets we serve, increased competition from overseas producers, our competitors’ pricing, go-to-market, and sustainability strategies, the introduction by our competitors of new products, technologies and equipment, including the use of artificial intelligence and machine learning solutions, our ability to innovate and to anticipate and respond to changing customer preferences and to develop and execute on our go-to-market and sustainability strategies and to maintain the cost-efficiency of our operations, including our facilities. In addition, changes within these industries, including the consolidation of our competitors and customers or changes in capacity, have impacted, and may in the future, impact competitive dynamics. If our competitors are more successful than us with respect to any key competitive factor, our results of operations, cash flows and financial condition, and the trading price of our Common Stock, could be adversely affected.

 

Our products also compete, to some extent, with various other packaging materials, including products made of plastics, wood and various types of metal. Customer shifts away from containerboard and paperboard packaging to packaging made from other materials could adversely affect our results of operations, cash flows and financial condition, and the trading price of our Common Stock.

Operating Risks

We May Incur Business Disruptions That Adversely Affect Our Businesses

We depend on continuous operation of our facilities. The operations at our facilities have in the past and may in the future be interrupted or impaired by various operating risks, including, but not limited to, risks associated with:

catastrophic events, such as fires, floods, earthquakes, explosions, natural disasters, severe weather, including hurricanes, tornadoes and droughts, and pandemics, including COVID, or other health crises or similar occurrences;

interruptions in the delivery of raw materials or other manufacturing inputs;

 

failure of third-party service providers and/or business partners to fulfill their commitments and responsibilities in a timely manner and in accordance with agreed upon terms;

government regulations;

prolonged power failures;

unscheduled maintenance outages, including due to equipment breakdowns or failures;

information system disruptions or failures due to any number of causes, including cyber-attacks;

violations of our permit requirements or revocation of permits;

releases of pollutants and hazardous substances to air, soil, surface water or ground water;

disruptions in transportation infrastructure, including roads, bridges, railroad tracks and tunnels;

shortages of equipment or spare parts; and

labor disputes and shortages.

 

17


 

For example, operations at several of our facilities located in the south and southeastern U.S. have been interrupted in recent years by hurricanes and severe winter weather, resulting in, among other things, lost mill production. In addition, COVID impacted our operations and financial performance to varying degrees, including as a result of supply chain and labor disruptions and higher costs. The extent of the effects of future public health crises, including the impact of a resurgence of COVID, or other business disruptions, on our operational and financial performance in future periods will depend on future developments, which are highly uncertain and cannot be predicted. Our production capabilities may be disrupted if we are unable to secure sufficient supplies of raw materials or if significant portions of our workforce are unable to work effectively as a result of a business disruption. We have insurance coverage, subject to applicable deductibles or retentions, policy limits and other conditions, for certain business disruptions; however, we may not be successful with respect to any claim regarding insurance coverage and, if we are successful, any amounts paid pursuant to the insurance may not be sufficient to cover all our costs and expenses.

 

Business disruptions have impaired, and may in the future impair, our production capabilities and adversely affect our results of operations, cash flows and financial condition, and the trading price of our Common Stock.

We May Fail to Anticipate Trends That Would Enable Us to Offer Products That Respond to Changing Customer Preferences or to Protect Intellectual Property Related to Our Products

 

Our success depends, in part, on our ability to offer differentiated solutions, and we must continually develop and introduce new products and services to keep pace with technological and regulatory developments and changing customer preferences. The services and products that we offer customers may not meet their needs as their business models evolve. Also, our customers may decide to decrease their use of our products, use alternative materials for their product packaging or forego the packaging of certain products entirely. Regulatory developments can also significantly alter the market for our products. For example, a move to electronic distribution of disclaimers and other paperless regimes could adversely impact our healthcare inserts and labels businesses. Similarly, certain states and local governments have adopted laws banning single-use paper bags or charging businesses or customers fees to use paper bags. These and similar developments could adversely impact demand for certain of our products.

 

Customer preferences for products and packaging formats are constantly changing based on, among other factors, cost, convenience, and health and sustainability concerns and perceptions. For example, changing consumer dietary habits and preferences have slowed the sales growth for certain of the food and beverage products that we package. Also, there is an increasing focus among consumers to ensure that products delivered through e-commerce are packaged efficiently. In addition, customers are increasingly interested in the carbon footprint of our products. Our results of operations, cash flows and financial condition, and the trading price of our Common Stock, could be adversely affected if we fail to anticipate and address these and other trends, including by developing and offering products that respond to changing customer preferences.

 

Our success also depends, in part, upon our ability to obtain and maintain protection for certain proprietary packaging products and packaging machine technologies used to produce our products. Failure to protect our existing intellectual property may result in the loss of valuable legal rights. Our competitors may obtain intellectual property rights that could require us to license those rights or to modify or cease the use or sale of certain of our technologies or products. Our patents could be invalidated, rendered unenforceable, circumvented, challenged or licensed to others, and our pending or future patent applications may not be issued with the scope of the claims we seek, if at all. Further, other companies may develop technologies that are similar or superior to our technologies, duplicate our technologies or design around our patents, and steps we take to protect our technologies may not prevent misappropriation of those technologies.

Our Capital Expenditures May Not Achieve the Desired Outcomes or May Be Completed at a Higher Cost than Anticipated

We operate in a capital-intensive industry, and many of our capital projects are complex, costly and/or implemented over an extended period of time. Our expenditures for capital projects could be higher than we anticipate, we may experience unanticipated business disruptions or delays in completing the projects, and/or we may not achieve the desired benefits from those projects, including as a result of a deterioration in macroeconomic conditions or in our business, unavailability of capital equipment or related materials, delays in obtaining permits or other requisite approvals or changes in laws and regulations. Any of these circumstances could adversely affect our results of operations, cash flows and financial condition, and the trading price of our Common Stock. In addition,

18


 

disputes between us and contractors who are involved with implementing capital projects could lead to time-consuming and costly litigation.

We Are Exposed to Risks Related to International Sales and Operations

We derived 24.4% of our net sales in fiscal 2023 from outside the U.S. through international operations, some of which were transacted in U.S. dollars. In addition, certain of our domestic operations have sales to foreign customers. Our operating results and business prospects could be adversely affected by risks related to the countries outside the U.S. in which we have manufacturing facilities or sell our products. Countries are exposed to varying degrees of economic, political and social unrest or instability. In addition, economies and operating environments have been, and may continue to be, adversely impacted to varying degrees by public health crises. We are exposed to risks of operating in various countries, including, but not limited to, risks associated with:

geopolitical events and political, economic and social unrest or instability, including downturns or changes in economic activity due to, among other things, regional conflicts or commodity inflation;

 

the difficulties, and costs of complying, with a wide variety of complex and changing laws, treaties and regulations;

earnings and cash flows that may be subject to tax withholding requirements or the imposition of tariffs, exchange controls or other restrictions;

repatriating cash from foreign countries to the U.S.;

 

import and export restrictions and other trade barriers;

 

responding to disruptions in existing trade agreements or increased trade tensions between countries or political and economic unions;

 

maintaining overseas subsidiaries and managing international operations;

 

obtaining regulatory approval for significant transactions;

 

government limitations on foreign ownership or takeovers, nationalizations of business or mandated price controls;

 

fluctuations in foreign currency exchange rates; and

 

transfer pricing.

We are also subject to taxation in the U.S. and numerous non-U.S. jurisdictions and have several ongoing audit examinations covering multiple years with various tax authorities. We base our tax returns on our interpretation of tax laws and regulations in effect; however, governing tax bodies have in the past and may in the future disagree with certain of our tax positions, which could result in a higher tax liability. For instance, we are challenging claims by the Brazil Federal Revenue Department that we underpaid tax, penalties and interest associated with a claim that a subsidiary of MeadWestvaco Corporation (the predecessor of WestRock MWV, LLC) had reduced its tax liability related to the goodwill generated by the 2002 merger of two of its Brazilian subsidiaries. See Item 8. “Financial Statements and Supplemental Data — Note 19. Commitments and Contingencies — Brazil Tax Liability” for additional information.

 

Any one or more of these risks could adversely affect our international operations and our results of operations, cash flows and financial condition, and the trading price of our Common Stock.

We May Produce Faulty or Contaminated Products Due to Failures in Quality Control Measures and Systems

Our failure to produce products that meet applicable safety and quality standards could result in adverse effects on consumer health, litigation exposure, loss of market share and adverse reputational and financial impacts, among other potential consequences, and we may incur substantial costs in taking appropriate corrective action (up to and including recalling products from end consumers) and reimbursing customers and/or end consumers for losses that they suffer as a result of these failures. Our failure to meet these standards could lead to regulatory investigations, enforcement actions and/or prosecutions, and result in adverse publicity, which may damage our reputation. Any of these results could adversely affect our results of operations, cash flows and financial condition, and the trading price of our Common Stock.

19


 

 

We provide representations in certain of our contracts that our products are produced in accordance with customer specifications. If the product contained in packaging manufactured by us is faulty or contaminated, the manufacturer of the product may allege that the packaging we provided caused the fault or contamination, even if the packaging complies with contractual specifications. If our packaging fails to meet contract specifications, we could face liability from our customers and third parties for bodily injury or other damages. These liabilities could adversely affect our results of operations, cash flows and financial condition, and the trading price of our Common Stock.

We Are Subject to Information Security and Information Technology Risks, Including Related to Customer, Employee, Vendor or Other Company Data

We use information technologies to securely manage operations and various business functions. We rely on various technologies, some of which are managed by third parties, to process, transmit and store electronic information. In addition, we facilitate a variety of business processes and activities, including reporting on our business and interacting with customers, vendors and employees. We also collect and store data, including proprietary business information, and may have access to confidential or personal information that is subject to privacy and security laws, regulations and customer-imposed controls. The current cyber threat environment presents enhanced risk for all companies, including those in our industry. Increasing use of artificial intelligence may increase these risks.

Our systems, and those of our third-party providers and business partners, are subject to recurring attempts by third parties to access information, manipulate data or disrupt our operations. Despite our security design and controls, and those of our third-party providers and business partners, we have in the past experienced, and may in the future become subject to, unauthorized data disclosures, manipulation or loss, system damage, disruptions or shutdowns. These incidents may be due to any number of causes, including cyber-attacks, data breaches, employee error or malfeasance, such as ransomware and data theft by common hackers, criminal groups or nation-state organizations or social activist organizations (which efforts may increase as a result of geopolitical events and political and social unrest or instability around the world), power outages, telecommunication or utility failures, systems failures, service provider failures, natural disasters or other catastrophic events. Moreover, hardware, software or applications that we or third parties use may have inherent vulnerabilities or defects of design, manufacture or operations or could be inadvertently or intentionally implemented or used in a manner that could compromise information security. Misuse of internal applications, theft of intellectual property, trade secrets or other corporate assets, and inappropriate disclosure of confidential information could result from such incidents.

 

In January 2021, we detected a ransomware attack impacting certain of our systems (the “Ransomware Incident”). In response, we proactively shut down a number of our systems, which impacted certain of our operations, including our ability to produce and ship paper and packaging. Due to these actions, our mill system production was approximately 115,000 tons lower than planned for the quarter ended March 31, 2021, and we estimated the pre-tax income impact of the lost sales and operational disruption of this incident, as well as ransomware recovery costs, at approximately $80 million. In response to the Ransomware Incident, we accelerated information technology investments that we had previously planned to make in future periods in order to further strengthen our information security and technology infrastructure. As a result, we have incurred and expect to continue to incur, significant costs as we enhance our data security and take further steps to prevent unauthorized access to, or manipulation of, our systems and data. Despite these efforts, similar incidents may occur in the future. In particular, the Ransomware Incident may embolden individuals or groups to target our systems. Additionally, while we have insurance coverage in place to address various information security risks, this insurance coverage is subject to a deductible and may not be sufficient to cover all losses or types of claims that may arise in connection with such incidents.

 

The information security-related vulnerabilities that we face may remain undetected for an extended period of time. We may also face challenges and risks during our integration of acquired businesses and operations as we upgrade and standardize our information technology systems. We maintain contingency plans and processes to prevent or mitigate the impact of these events; however, these events could nonetheless result in disruptions and damage like that we suffered in connection with the Ransomware Incident or the misappropriation of sensitive data, and depending on their nature and scope, could lead to the compromise of confidential information, improper use of our systems and networks, manipulation and destruction of data, defective products, production downtimes, operational disruptions and exposure to liability. Such disruptions or misappropriations and the resulting

20


 

repercussions, including reputational damage and legal claims or proceedings, may adversely affect our results of operations, cash flows and financial condition, and the trading price of our Common Stock.

We May Be Adversely Impacted By Work Stoppages and Other Labor Relations Matters

 

A significant number of our union employees are governed by CBAs. We are currently negotiating a new master agreement with the USW, as the current agreement, which covers approximately 7,300 of our employees, will expire in December 2023. In addition, expired union contracts are in the process of renegotiation and others expire within one year. We have reached a tentative agreement on the terms of a new master agreement; however, it remains subject to approval of the requisite union membership, and we cannot predict if or when that approval will be obtained. In addition, we may not be able to successfully negotiate other union contracts without work stoppages or labor difficulties or to renegotiate them on favorable terms.

 

We have experienced isolated work stoppages from time to time, including a defensive lockout at our Mahrt mill in Cottonton, AL from October 2022 to February 2023 and a strike at our corrugated converting facility in Dayton, NJ since June 2023, which resulted in increased costs as described in “Note 8. Segment Information” of the Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements. Although we recently reached a tentative agreement to resolve the strike at the Dayton facility, it is subject to approval of the requisite union membership, and we cannot predict if or when that approval will be obtained. If we experience an extended interruption of operations at any of our facilities as a result of work stoppages or if we are unable to successfully renegotiate the terms of any of these agreements, our results of operations, cash flows and financial condition, and the trading price of our Common Stock, could be adversely affected. In addition, our businesses rely on vendors, suppliers and other third parties that have union employees. Work stoppages or other labor relations matters affecting these vendors, suppliers and other third parties could adversely affect our results of operations, cash flows and financial condition, and the trading price of our Common Stock.

We Operate in a Challenging Market for Talent and May Not Attract, Motivate and Retain Qualified Personnel, Including Key Personnel

Our success depends on our ability to attract, motivate and retain employees with the skills necessary to understand and adapt to the continuously developing needs of our customers. The increasing demand for qualified personnel makes it more difficult for us to attract, motivate and retain employees with requisite skill sets, particularly employees with specialized technical and trade experience. Changing demographics and labor work force trends also may result in a loss of knowledge and skills as more tenured and experienced workers retire. If we are unable to attract, motivate and retain qualified personnel, or if we experience excessive turnover, including among hourly workers, we may experience declining sales, manufacturing delays or other inefficiencies, increased recruiting, training and relocation costs and other difficulties, and our results of operations, cash flows and financial condition, and the trading price of our Common Stock may be adversely impacted.

The market for both hourly workers and professional workers remained challenging in fiscal 2023. The market and labor environment for hourly workers is increasingly competitive and facing higher levels of labor unrest than has historically been experienced. In certain locations where we operate, the demand for labor continues to exceed the supply of labor, resulting in higher costs. Despite our focused efforts to attract, motivate and retain employees, including by offering higher levels of compensation in certain instances, we experienced attrition rates within our workforce in the past two years that exceeded historical levels. We also incurred higher operating costs at certain of our facilities in the form of higher levels of overtime pay due to shift requirements and staffing challenges.

In addition, many professional workers desire a fully remote work setting. We offer flexible working arrangements in the majority of instances; however, we may experience higher levels of attrition within our professional workforce if these workers desire more remote work opportunities than we are able to offer. We may also experience higher levels of attrition if employees do not perceive the purpose and impact of their work to be rewarding or their work-life balance to be satisfactory.

We also rely on key executive and management personnel to manage our business efficiently and effectively. The loss of these employees, combined with a challenging market for attracting and retaining employees, could adversely affect our results of operations, cash flows and financial condition, and the trading price of our Common Stock may be adversely impacted. The proposed Transaction may exacerbate each of these challenges.

21


 

We Face Risks Associated with Sustainability Matters, Including Climate Change

Our physical assets and infrastructure, including our manufacturing operations, have been and remain subject to risks from volatile and damaging weather patterns. For example, severe weather-related events, such as hurricanes, tornadoes, other extreme storms, wildfires, and floods, have resulted in and/or could in future periods result in lost production and/or physical damage to our facilities. Unpredictable weather patterns or extended periods of severe weather also may result in supply chain disruptions and increased material costs. The ability to harvest the virgin fiber used in our manufacturing operations may be limited, and prices for this raw material may fluctuate, during prolonged periods of heavy rain or drought or during tree disease or insect epidemics or other environmental conditions that may be caused by variations in climate conditions. Such events could also impact the premiums we pay for insurance. Other climate-related business risks that we face include risks related to the transition to a lower-carbon economy, such as increased prices for certain fuels, including natural gas; the introduction of a carbon tax or government mandates to reduce GHG emissions; and more stringent and/or complex environmental and other permitting requirements. To the extent that severe weather or other climate-related risks materialize, and we are unprepared for them, we may incur unexpected costs, which could have a material effect on our results of operations, cash flows and financial condition, and the trading price of our Common Stock may be adversely impacted.

There has been an increased focus, including from investors, customers, regulators and other stakeholders regarding sustainability matters, including with respect to climate change, circular economy, packaging waste, sustainable supply chain practices, deforestation, biodiversity, land, energy and water use, diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging and other human capital matters. This increased awareness may result in more prescriptive reporting requirements with respect to these topics, an increased expectation that such topics will be voluntarily disclosed by companies such as ours, and increased pressure to make commitments, set targets and take action to meet them.

 

We have established and publicly disclosed targets and other commitments related to certain sustainability matters, including our SBT to reduce Scope 1, 2 and 3 GHG emissions by 2030 from a 2019 baseline year. All of our sustainability targets and commitments are subject to a variety of assumptions, risks and uncertainties, many of which are outside our control. If we are unable to meet these targets or commitments on our projected timelines or at all, or if they are perceived negatively, including the perception that they are not sufficiently robust or, conversely, are too costly, our reputation as well as our relationships with investors, customers and other stakeholders could be harmed, which could in turn adversely impact our business, results of operations and the trading price of our Common Stock. Meeting certain of these targets may also increase our capital expenditures and operational costs, and those expenditures could deviate, perhaps materially, from initial estimates. In addition, not all of our competitors may seek to establish climate or other sustainability targets and goals, or at a comparable level to ours, which could result in our competitors achieving competitive advantages through lower supply chain, capital or operating costs.

We May Not Be Able To Successfully Implement Our Strategic Transformation Initiatives, Including Our New Business Systems Transformation

We have undertaken several projects to enhance productivity and performance, increase efficiency, and deliver cost savings throughout our businesses, which may not be achieved on the anticipated timelines or at all. For example, in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2022, we launched a multi-year phased business systems transformation project. The investment will replace much of our existing disparate systems and transition them to a standardized enterprise resource planning (“ERP”) system on a cloud-based platform, as well as a suite of other complementing technologies, across our global organization. The new systems are intended to transform areas such as manufacturing, supply chain, procurement, quote to cash, financials and analytics, and position us to better leverage automation and process efficiency and enable productivity enhancements. An implementation of this scale is a major financial undertaking and will require substantial time and attention of management and key employees. We may not be able to successfully implement our ERP system without delays related to resource constraints or challenges with the critical design phases of the implementation, or we may experience unanticipated business disruptions and/or we may not achieve the desired benefits from the project. Project completion dates and projected costs may also change. Additionally, the effectiveness of our internal control over financial reporting could be adversely affected if the new ERP is not successfully implemented. Any of these items, along with any failure to effectively manage data governance risks prior to or during ERP implementation, could adversely affect our results of operations, cash flows and financial condition, and the trading price of our Common Stock.

 

22


 

We May Be Unsuccessful in Integrating Mergers, Acquisitions and Investments, and Completing Divestitures

 

We have completed a number of mergers, acquisitions, investments and divestitures in the past, including our acquisition of the remaining ownership interest in Grupo Gondi and the divestiture of our interior partition operations and our uncoated recycled paperboard mills. Subject to restrictions in, and compliance with, the Transaction Agreement, we may seek to acquire, invest in or sell, or enter into transactions with other companies in the future. However, we may not be able to identify suitable targets or purchasers or successfully complete suitable transactions in the future, and completed transactions may not be successful. These transactions create risks, including, but not limited to, risks associated with:

 

disrupting our ongoing business, including distracting management from our existing businesses;

integrating acquired businesses and personnel into our business, including integrating personnel, information technology systems and operations across different cultures and languages, and addressing the operational risks associated with these integration activities as well as the economic, political, regulatory and compliance risks associated with specific countries;

working with partners or other ownership structures with shared decision-making authority;

obtaining and verifying relevant information regarding a business prior to the consummation of the transaction, including the identification and assessment of liabilities, claims or other circumstances that could result in litigation or regulatory risk exposure;

obtaining required regulatory approvals and/or debt or equity financing on favorable terms;

retaining key employees, contractual relationships or customers;

the potential impairment of assets and goodwill;

the additional operating losses and expenses of businesses we acquire or in which we invest;

incurring indebtedness to finance an acquisition or investment; and

implementing controls, procedures and policies at companies we acquire.

 

Among the benefits we expect from mergers, acquisitions and investments are synergies, cost savings, growth opportunities or access to new markets (or a combination thereof), and in the case of divestitures, the realization of proceeds from the sale of businesses and assets to purchasers that place higher strategic value on these businesses and assets than we do. For mergers and acquisitions, our success in realizing these benefits and the timing of realizing them depend on the successful integration of the acquired businesses and operations with our business and operations. These transactions may not be successful and may adversely affect our results of operations, cash flows and financial condition, and the trading price of our Common Stock. Even if we integrate these businesses and operations successfully, we may not realize the full benefits we expected within the anticipated timeframe, or at all, and the benefits may be offset by unanticipated costs or delays.

Transaction Risks

 

We Will Be Subject to Business Uncertainties While the Transaction With Smurfit Kappa is Pending, Which Could Adversely Affect Our Business

 

On September 12, 2023, we entered into the Transaction Agreement. See Item 1. “Business” for additional information. The Transaction Agreement generally requires us to operate our business in the ordinary course, consistent with past practice, pending consummation of the Transaction and restricts us, without Smurfit Kappa’s consent, from taking certain specified actions until the Transaction is completed. These restrictions may affect our ability to execute our business and goals, and prevent us from pursuing attractive business opportunities.

 

Further, in connection with the Transaction, our current and prospective employees may experience uncertainty about their future roles with us following the Transaction, which may materially adversely affect our ability to attract, motivate and retain key personnel while the Transaction is pending. Accordingly, we may be unable to attract, motivate and retain key employees to the same extent that we have been able to in the past.

 

23


 

The Transaction could also disrupt our business or business relationships. Parties with which we have business relationships may delay or defer certain business decisions, seek alternative relationships with third parties or seek to alter their present business relationships with us. Parties with which we otherwise may have sought to establish business relationships may seek alternative relationships with third parties.

 

The pursuit of the Transaction will also continue to place a significant burden on management and other internal resources. It may also divert management’s time and attention from the day-to-day operation of our business and the execution of our other strategic initiatives.

 

In addition, we have incurred and will continue to incur significant costs for professional services and other transaction costs in connection with the Transaction, and many of these costs are payable regardless of whether or not the Transaction is consummated.

 

Any of the foregoing could adversely affect our business, results of operations, cash flows and financial condition, and the trading price of our Common Stock.

 

The Transaction Agreement Limits Our Ability to Pursue Alternatives to the Transaction

 

The Transaction Agreement contains provisions that may discourage a third party from submitting a competing proposal that might result in greater value to our stockholders than the Transaction, or may result in a potential competing acquirer of the Company proposing to pay a lower per share price to acquire us than it might otherwise have proposed to pay. These provisions include, among others, a general prohibition on us from soliciting or, subject to certain exceptions relating to the exercise of fiduciary duties by our board of directors, entering into discussions with any third party regarding any competing proposal or offer for a competing transaction.

 

The Transaction May Not be Completed Within the Intended Timeframe, or at All, and the Failure to Complete the Transaction Would Likely Adversely Affect Our Business, Results of Operations, Financial Condition, and the Trading Price of Our Common Stock

 

The Transaction Agreement contains a number of conditions that must be satisfied or waived prior to its completion, including (i) the approval of a Scheme, pursuant to which each issued ordinary share of Smurfit Kappa will be exchanged for one ordinary share of ListCo (as a result of which Smurfit Kappa will become a wholly owned subsidiary of ListCo), by the requisite majority of Smurfit Kappa shareholders at a Court-convened shareholder meeting; (ii) the passage of resolutions regarding the implementation of the Scheme, the cancellation of Smurfit Kappa’s premium listing on the LSE, the creation of a standard listing for ListCo on the LSE, and the approval of the Transaction by the requisite majorities of Smurfit Kappa shareholders at an extraordinary general meeting; (iii) the sanction of the Scheme by the High Court of Ireland; (iv) the affirmative vote of the holders of a majority of the outstanding shares of our Common Stock to adopt the Transaction Agreement; (v) certain regulatory clearances; and (vi) the registration statement for the offer of ListCo shares in the Transaction being declared effective by the SEC, the approval of the ListCo shares for listing on the NYSE and the FCA having acknowledged that the application for admission of the ListCo shares to the standard segment of the Official List of the FCA has been approved and will become effective, and the LSE having acknowledged that such shares will be admitted to trading on the LSE’s main market for listed securities, subject only to the issuance of such ListCo shares upon the completion of the Transaction.

 

The closing conditions to the Transaction may not be satisfied (or waived, if applicable), and, even if all closing conditions are satisfied (or waived, if applicable), the terms, conditions and timing of the required regulatory clearances cannot be predicted, and the Transaction may not be completed in a timely manner or at all. Many of the conditions to completion of the Transaction are not within our control, and we cannot predict when or if these conditions will be satisfied (or waived, as applicable). The waiting period under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act of 1976, as amended, has expired. Other required regulatory conditions remain outstanding.

 

If the Transaction is not completed within the intended timeframe or at all, we may be subject to a number of material risks. In such instances, the trading price of our Common Stock would likely decline to the extent that current market prices reflect a market assumption that the Transaction will be completed. We may also experience negative reactions from our investors, customers, partners, suppliers, and employees.

 

Upon termination of the Transaction Agreement under specified circumstances, including, among others, if our board of directors changes or withdraws its recommendation of the Transaction to our stockholders or willfully

24


 

breaches its non-solicitation covenant, we would be required to make a payment to Smurfit Kappa of $147 million. If the Transaction Agreement is terminated because our stockholders fail to approve the Transaction, we would be required to make a payment to Smurfit Kappa of $57 million.

 

Stockholder Litigation Could Prevent or Delay the Closing of the Transaction or Otherwise Negatively Impact Our Business, Operating Results and Financial Condition.

 

We may incur additional costs in connection with the defense or settlement of any stockholder litigation relating to the Transaction. Such litigation may adversely affect our ability to complete the Transaction. We could incur significant costs in connection with any such litigation, including costs associated with our indemnification obligations to our directors.

 

Financial Risks

 

We May Be Adversely Affected by the Loss of Certain Large Customers

We have large customers, none of which individually accounted for more than 10% of our consolidated net sales in fiscal 2023. The loss of large customers could adversely affect our sales and, depending on the magnitude of the loss, our results of operations, cash flows and financial condition, and the trading price of our Common Stock. In particular, because our businesses operate in highly competitive industry segments, we regularly bid for new business or for the renewal of existing business. The loss of business from our larger customers, or the renewal of business on less favorable terms, may adversely impact our financial results. See Item 7. “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations.”

We Have Had Significant Levels of Indebtedness in the Past and May Incur Significant Levels of Indebtedness in the Future, Which Could Adversely Affect Our Financial Condition and Impair Our Ability to Operate Our Business

At September 30, 2023, we had $8.6 billion of debt outstanding compared to $7.8 billion at September 30, 2022, which primarily reflects additional debt incurred in connection with the Mexico Acquisition, net of debt repayments. The level of our indebtedness has important consequences, including:

a portion of our cash flows from operations will be dedicated to payments on indebtedness and will not be available for other purposes, including operations, capital expenditures and future business opportunities, including acquisitions;

we may be limited in our ability to obtain additional financing for working capital, capital expenditures, future business opportunities, acquisitions, general corporate and other purposes;

our exposure to rising interest rates subjects us to increased debt service obligations, both with respect to existing floating rate indebtedness and the incurrence of additional fixed or floating indebtedness during periods where such rates are in effect, particularly in light of the continued increase in interest rates in fiscal 2023; and

we may be limited in our ability to adjust to changing market conditions, which would place us at a competitive disadvantage compared to competitors that have less debt.

 

Our credit facilities contain certain restrictive covenants, including a covenant to satisfy a debt to capitalization ratio. These restrictions may limit our flexibility to respond to changing market conditions and competitive pressures.

Credit Rating Downgrades Could Increase Our Borrowing Costs or Otherwise Adversely Affect Us

Some of our outstanding indebtedness has received credit ratings from rating agencies. Our credit ratings could change based on, among other things, our results of operations and financial condition. Credit ratings are subject to ongoing evaluation by credit rating agencies and may be lowered, suspended or withdrawn entirely by a rating agency or placed on a “watch list” for a possible downgrade or assigned a “negative outlook”. Actual or anticipated changes or downgrades in our credit ratings, including any announcement that our ratings are under review for a downgrade or have been assigned a negative outlook, could increase our borrowing costs, which could in turn adversely affect our results of operations, cash flows and financial condition, and the trading price of our Common Stock. If a downgrade were to occur or a negative outlook were to be assigned, it could impact our ability

25


 

to access the capital markets to raise debt and/or increase the associated costs. In addition, while our credit ratings are important to us, we may take actions and otherwise operate our business in a manner that adversely affects our credit ratings.

We sell short-term receivables from certain customer trade accounts on a revolving basis. Any downgrade of the credit rating or deterioration of the financial condition of these customers may make it more costly or difficult for us to engage in these activities, which could adversely affect our cash flows and liquidity.

We Have a Significant Amount of Goodwill and Other Intangible Assets and Have Experienced Impairments in the Past, and Any Additional Future Write-Downs Could Materially Adversely Impact Our Operating Results and Stockholders’ Equity

At September 30, 2023, the carrying value of our goodwill and intangible assets was $6.8 billion. We review the carrying value of our goodwill for impairment annually, or more frequently when impairment indicators exist. Similarly, we review our other intangible assets for impairment when circumstances indicate that the carrying value may not be recoverable. The impairment analysis requires us to analyze a number of factors and make estimates that require significant judgment. In fiscal 2020, we recorded a pre-tax, non-cash goodwill impairment charge of $1.3 billion in our legacy Consumer Packaging reporting unit. In the second quarter of fiscal 2023, we determined that our Global Paper and Corrugated Packaging reporting units had carrying values that exceeded their fair values, and we recorded an aggregate pre-tax, non-cash impairment charge of $1.9 billion. These impairments materially adversely affected our operating results for the applicable reporting periods. The factors that led to these impairment charges may persist, worsen, or recur in the future. Additionally, other future changes, including to underlying assumptions, estimates and market factors, could require us to record additional impairment charges, which could lead to future decreases in assets and reductions in net income. Because the fair values of the Corrugated Packaging and Distribution reporting units are not substantially more than their carrying values, these reporting units have greater risk of future impairments should we experience adverse changes in our assumptions, estimates, or market factors. See “Note 1. Description of Business and Summary of Significant Accounting Policies — Goodwill of the Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements for additional information. Any additional significant write-down could have a material adverse effect on our operating results and stockholders’ equity and could impact the trading price of our Common Stock.

We Will Likely Incur Additional Restructuring Costs and May Not Realize Expected Benefits from Restructuring

We have restructured portions of our operations from time to time, have current restructuring initiatives taking place, and it is likely that we will engage in future restructuring activities. For instance, during fiscal 2023, we recorded various impairments and other charges associated with our decision to permanently cease operations at our Tacoma, WA and North Charleston, SC containerboard mills and in fiscal 2022, we recorded various impairments and other charges associated with our decision to permanently cease operations at our Panama City, FL mill and to permanently close the corrugated medium manufacturing operations at our St. Paul, MN mill. In addition, we have consolidated, and in the future will likely consolidate, converting operations.

Because we are not able to predict or control market conditions, including changes in the supply and demand for our products, the loss of large customers, the selling prices for our products or our manufacturing costs, we may not be able to predict the appropriate time to undertake restructurings. The cash and non-cash costs associated with these activities vary depending on the type of facility impacted, with the costs of a mill closure generally being more significant than that of a converting facility due to the size and complexity of a mill decommissioning process and higher level of investment. Restructuring activities may divert the attention of management, disrupt our operations and fail to achieve the intended cost and operations benefits. In addition, significant judgment is required to estimate restructuring costs, and these estimates, and the assumptions underlying them, may change as additional information becomes available or facts or circumstances related to restructuring initiatives change.

We May Incur Withdrawal Liability and/or Increased Funding Requirements in Connection with Multiemployer Pension Plans

We participate in several multiemployer pension plans (“MEPP” or “MEPPs”) that provide retirement benefits to certain union employees in accordance with various CBAs. Our contributions to any particular MEPP may increase based on the declining funded status of a MEPP and legal requirements, such as those of the Pension

26


 

Protection Act of 2006 (“Pension Act”), which require substantially underfunded MEPPs to implement a funding improvement plan (“FIP”) or a rehabilitation plan (“RP”) to improve their funded status. The funded status of a MEPP may be impacted by, among other items, a shrinking contribution base as a result of the insolvency or withdrawal of other companies that currently contribute to these plans, the inability or failure of companies withdrawing from the plan to pay their withdrawal liability, low interest rates, changes in actuarial assumptions and/or lower than expected returns on pension fund assets.

 

We believe that certain of the MEPPs in which we participate or have participated, including the Pace Industry Union-Management Pension Fund (“PIUMPF”), have material unfunded vested benefits. We submitted formal notification to withdraw from MEPPs in the past and have recorded withdrawal liabilities, including an estimate of our portion of PIUMPF’s accumulated funding deficiency. We may withdraw from other MEPPs in the future. At September 30, 2023, we had recorded $203.2 million of withdrawal liabilities, including liabilities associated with PIUMPF’s accumulated funding deficiency demands. In July 2021, PIUMPF filed suit against us in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia claiming the right to recover our pro rata share of the pension fund’s accumulated funding deficiency, along with interest, liquidated damages and attorney’s fees. The impact of increased contributions, future funding obligations or future withdrawal liabilities may adversely affect our results of operations, cash flows and financial condition, and the trading price of our Common Stock. See “Note 6. Retirement Plans — Multiemployer Plans” and “Note 19. Commitments and Contingencies — Litigation” of the Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements for additional information.

 

Legal and Regulatory Risks

We Are Subject to a Wide Variety of Laws, Regulations and Other Requirements That May Change and May Impose Substantial Compliance Costs

We are subject to a wide variety of federal, state, local and foreign laws, regulations and other requirements, including those relating to the environment, product safety, competition, corruption, occupational health and safety, labor and employment, data privacy, tax and health care. These laws, regulations and other requirements may change or be applied or interpreted in ways that will require us to modify our equipment and/or operations, subject us to enforcement risk, expose us to reputational harm or require us to incur additional costs, including substantial compliance costs, which may adversely affect our results of operations, cash flows and financial condition, and the trading price of our Common Stock.

 

We have also incurred, and expect to continue to incur, significant capital, operating and other expenditures to comply with applicable environmental laws and regulations. Our environmental expenditures include those related to compliance with air and water permits and regulatory requirements, waste disposal and the cleanup of contaminated soil and groundwater, including situations where we have been identified as a potentially responsible or liable party.

 

The Foreign Corrupt Practices Act of 1977 and local anti-bribery laws, including those in Brazil, China, Mexico, India and the United Kingdom, prohibit companies and their intermediaries from making improper payments to government officials for the purpose of influencing official decisions. Our internal control policies and procedures, or those of our vendors, may not adequately protect us from reckless or criminal acts committed or alleged to have been committed by our employees, agents or vendors. Any such violations could lead to civil or criminal monetary and non-monetary penalties and/or could damage our reputation.

 

We are subject to a number of labor and employment and occupational health and safety laws and regulations that could significantly increase our operating costs and reduce our operational flexibility. Additionally, changing privacy laws in the United States, Europe, Brazil, China and elsewhere have created new individual privacy rights, imposed increased obligations on companies handling personal data and increased potential exposure to fines and penalties.

 

Future compliance with existing and new laws and requirements has the potential to disrupt our business operations and may require significant expenditures, and our existing reserves for specific matters may not be adequate to cover future costs. In particular, our manufacturing operations consume significant amounts of energy, and we may in the future incur additional or increased capital, operating and other expenditures from changes due to new or increased climate-related and other environmental requirements. We could also incur substantial liabilities, including fines or sanctions, enforcement actions, natural resource damages claims, cleanup and closure

27


 

costs, and third-party claims for property damage and personal injury under environmental and other laws. We believe that we can assert claims for indemnification pursuant to existing rights we have under certain purchase and other agreements in connection with certain remediation sites. We have insurance coverage, subject to applicable deductibles or retentions, policy limits and other conditions, for certain environmental matters; however, we may not be successful with respect to any claim regarding these insurance or indemnification rights and, if we are successful, any amounts paid pursuant to the insurance or indemnification rights may not be sufficient to cover all our costs and expenses.

 

Our Bylaws Contain an Exclusive Forum Provision That Could Limit Our Stockholders’ Ability To Choose Their Preferred Judicial Forum for Disputes With Us Or Our Directors, Officers Or Employees

For many years, our bylaws have provided that a state court in Delaware (or, if such a court does not have jurisdiction, the federal district court for the District of Delaware) is the exclusive forum for any derivative action or proceeding brought on our behalf, any action asserting a breach of fiduciary duty, any action asserting a claim against us or our directors, officers or employees arising pursuant to the Delaware General Corporation Law, our certificate of incorporation or our bylaws, or any action asserting a claim against us that is governed by the internal affairs doctrine. This provision of the bylaws is not a waiver of, and does not relieve anyone of, duties to comply with, federal securities laws, including those specifying the exclusive jurisdiction of federal courts under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended, and concurrent jurisdiction of federal and state courts under the Securities Act of 1933, as amended.

This provision of the bylaws may limit a stockholder’s ability to bring a claim in a judicial forum that it finds favorable for disputes with us or our directors, officers or other employees, which may discourage such lawsuits against us and our directors, officers and other employees. Alternatively, if a court were to find this provision in our bylaws to be inapplicable or unenforceable in any action, we may incur additional costs associated with resolving such action in other jurisdictions, which could adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations, and the action may result in outcomes unfavorable to us, which could have a materially adverse impact on our reputation, our business operations, and our financial position or results of operations.

Item 1B. UNRESOLVED STAFF COMMENTS

There are no unresolved SEC staff comments.

Item 2. PROPERTIES

We operate locations in North America, including the majority of U.S. states, South America, Europe, Asia and Australia. We lease our principal offices in Atlanta, GA. We believe that our existing production capacity is adequate to serve existing demand for our products and consider our plants and equipment to be in good condition.

Our corporate offices, significant regional offices and operating facilities (including our mills) as of September 30, 2023 are summarized below:

 

 

 

Number of Facilities

 

Segment

 

Owned

 

 

Leased

 

 

Total

 

Corrugated Packaging

 

 

85

 

 

 

55

 

 

 

140

 

Consumer Packaging

 

 

55

 

 

 

26

 

 

 

81

 

Global Paper

 

 

43

 

 

 

4

 

 

 

47

 

Distribution

 

 

 

 

 

64

 

 

 

64

 

Corporate and significant regional offices

 

 

 

 

 

10

 

 

 

10

 

Total (1)

 

 

183

 

 

 

159

 

 

 

342

 

 

(1)
Excludes facilities we are in the process of closing.

The tables that follow show our estimated annual production capacity in thousands of tons by mill at September 30, 2023, unless stated otherwise. The capacity reflects our current expectations, including assumptions such as product mix and basis weight. Our mill system production levels and operating rates may vary from year to year due to changes in market and other factors, including weather-related events. Including a partial year adjustment to capacity to reflect footprint actions, where appropriate, our simple average mill system operating rates

28


 

for the last three fiscal years averaged 88%. We own all of our mills. At September 30, 2023, we also own approximately 136,000 acres of forestlands in Brazil.

Containerboard Mills - annual production capacity in thousands of tons

 

Location of Mill

 

Linerboard

 

 

Medium

 

 

White Top
Linerboard

 

 

Kraft
Paper/Bag

 

 

Bleached
Paperboard

 

 

Total
Capacity

 

Longview, WA

 

 

465

 

 

 

240

 

 

 

 

 

 

345

 

 

 

 

 

 

1,050

 

Fernandina Beach, FL

 

 

950

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

950

 

West Point, VA

 

 

 

 

 

200

 

 

 

750

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

950

 

Stevenson, AL

 

 

 

 

 

885

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

885

 

Solvay, NY

 

 

550

 

 

 

270

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

820

 

Hodge, LA

 

 

775

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

775

 

Florence, SC

 

 

710

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

710

 

Tres Barras, Brazil

 

 

460

 

 

 

200

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

660

 

Dublin, GA

 

 

135

 

 

 

135

 

 

 

 

 

 

345

 

 

 

 

 

 

615

 

Seminole, FL

 

 

400

 

 

 

200

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

600

 

Hopewell, VA

 

 

527

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

527

 

Roanoke Rapids, NC

 

 

290

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

210

 

 

 

 

 

 

500

 

La Tuque, Quebec

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

345

 

 

 

 

 

 

131

 

 

 

476

 

Monterrey, MX

 

 

230

 

 

 

170

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

400

 

San Pablo, MX

 

 

155

 

 

 

95

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

250

 

Cowpens, SC

 

 

45

 

 

 

185

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

230

 

Morai, India

 

 

155

 

 

 

25

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

180

 

San Luis Potosi, MX

 

 

6

 

 

 

62

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

68

 

Total Capacity (1)

 

 

5,853

 

 

 

2,667

 

 

 

1,095

 

 

 

900

 

 

 

131

 

 

 

10,646

 

 

(1)
Reflects the permanent closure of our North Charleston, SC and Tacoma, WA containerboard mills announced in fiscal 2023. Our fiber sourcing for our containerboard mills is approximately 55% virgin and 45% recycled.

 

Paperboard Mills - annual production capacity in thousands of tons

 

Location of Mill

 

Bleached
Paperboard

 

 

Coated
Natural Kraft

 

 

Coated
Recycled
Paperboard

 

 

Linerboard

 

 

Specialty
Recycled
Paperboard
& Saturating Kraft

 

 

Market
Pulp

 

 

Total
Capacity

 

Mahrt, AL

 

 

 

 

 

1,035

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1,035

 

Covington, VA