Weyerhaeuser has agreed to sell five pulp mills in the South and Canada to International Paper for $2.2 billion in cash, the Federal Way company said Monday.

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Weyerhaeuser has agreed to sell five pulp mills in the South and Canada to International Paper for $2.2 billion in cash, the Federal Way company said Monday.

Weyerhaeuser expects to use much of the estimated $1.6 billion after-tax proceeds to repay money it borrowed for a previously announced $2.5 billion share-repurchase program.

The transaction includes five pulp mills in Columbus, Miss.; Flint River, Ga.; New Bern, N.C.; Port Wentworth, Ga.; and Grande Prairie, Alberta, with a combined total capacity of nearly 1.9 million metric tons. The sale also includes two modified fiber mills in Columbus, Miss., and Gdansk, Poland.

The Weyerhaeuser plants have a total annual production capacity of almost 1.9 million metric tons and employ about 1,900 workers in the U.S., Canada and Poland.

For International Paper, the world’s largest paper company, the deal would double its global position in the raw material used in diapers and other hygiene products.

The deal does not include Weyerhaeuser’s liquid packaging-board facility or newsprint and publishing papers joint venture. Weyerhaeuser had said it was reviewing the future of those operations as well as the pulp mills when it announced in November the $8.4 billion acquisition of Plum Creek Timber.

“This transaction delivers compelling value for Weyerhaeuser shareholders and further focuses our portfolio as we work to be the world’s premier timber, land, and forest-products company,” said CEO Doyle R. Simons.

The transaction will make International Paper the leader in the global market for so-called fluff pulp, “well ahead” of Koch Industries’ Georgia-Pacific, Mark Wilde, an analyst at BMO Capital Markets in New York, said in a note.

Use of fluff pulp, an absorbent material manufactured from softwood, is growing amid rising sales of adult-incontinence products.

Also, expanding middle classes in developing nations are buying more tissue paper and other personal-care items.