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Packaging company MeadWestvaco Corp. said Thursday that it is spinning off its office supplies business and combining it with Acco Brands Corp., one of the world's largest office supply manufacturers.

Richmond, Va.-based MeadWestvaco makes Mead, Five Star and At-A-Glance branded office and school supplies. Lincolnshire, Ill.-based Acco Brands Corp. makes Swingline staplers and Day-Timer planners.

MeadWestvaco said the deal valued at about $860 million is expected to be completed in the first half of 2012. The company said its shareholders will wind up with just over 50 percent of Acco Brands and $460 million in cash. Shareholders will receive about 1 share of Acco Brands for every three shares of MeadWestvaco.

The combination is subject to approval by Acco Brand shareholders. The combined business will be managed by Acco Brands, but MeadWestvaco will select two directors to join its board of directors.

The move will strengthen MeadWestvaco's market in consumer and office products, CEO John A. Luke Jr. said in a news release. The company also said the deal will allow it to sharpen its focus on its packaging business for food, beverage, health care, tobacco and other markets.

MeadWestvaco, which operates in 30 countries and has customers in more than 100 nations, has gone through a deliberate transformation over the last several years from a mill-centric paper supplier to global partner for brands like Procter & Gamble, Coca-Cola and Walmart. MeadWestvaco has said the changes have helped build a company that is more global, innovative and focused.

MeadWestvaco's consumer and office products business has operations in the U.S., Canada and Brazil.

Acco Brands CEO Robert J. Keller called the move a "transforming event," expanding its presence in other consumer categories and into faster-growing markets.

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Michael Felberbaum can be reached at http://www.twitter.com/MLFelberbaum.

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