Originally incorporated in 1898 as the Northern Development Company but soon renamed Great Northern Paper Company, the predecessor to Great Northern Nekoosa had begun producing newsprint in 1900. By 1924, it was manufacturing corrugated paper and a decade later began a gradual transition from wrapping paper to business paper production. The company expanded its pulp and paper operations over the next 40 years. In 1970, the Great Northern Paper Company and the Nekoosa Edwards Paper Company merged to become Great Northern Nekoosa Corporation. Great Northern Nekoosa acquired several firms subsequently to enhance the company's manufacturing and distribution capabilities, including Heco Envelope Company in 1973; Pak-Well in 1975; Leaf River Forest Products in 1981; Barton, Duer & Koch, and Consolidated Marketing, Inc. in 1982; Triquet Paper Company in 1983; Chatfield Paper Company in 1984; J&J; Corrugated Box Corporation and Carpenter Paper Company of Iowa in 1986; Owens-Illinois's forest products company in 1987; and Jim Walter Papers in 1988. By 1989, Great Northern Nekoosa was operating 55 paper mills and paperboard converting plants, 83 paper distribution centers, one plywood plant, and two sawmills.
Great Northern Nekoosa was a particularly attractive candidate for acquisition because of its depressed stock price. Georgia-Pacific saw the combination of the two companies as an opportunity to achieve economies of scale and other cost savings. In Hahn's opinion, the acquisition would enable Georgia-Pacific to add manufacturing capability at less expense than by building its own plants. On the other hand, Great Northern Nekoosa viewed Georgia-Pacific's $3.74 billion bid as a hostile takeover attempt. It attempted to halt the proposed buyout with a series of lawsuits and an extensive search for another buyer. All of these measures failed, however, and the purchase was completed in March 1990. Georgia-Pacific assumed a significant amount of debt as a result, but was able to eliminate part of the burden through the subsequent sale of several mills and some timberland to Tenneco, the John Hancock Mutual Life Insurance Company, and the Metropolitan Life Insurance Company.
With its hard-fought acquisition of Great Northern Nekoosa complete, Georgia-Pacific held market leadership positions in containerboard, packaging, pulp, and communication papers and was a major producer of related products, such as tissue, kraft paper, and bleached board.
Common Stock, issued in the 1970’s
Printed by the American Bank Note Company
7 1/4” (h) x 11” (w)
This certificate has vertical fold lines, punch hole and stamp cancels in the signature areas and body, and has some toning from age.