Three letters that were part of Richmond’s skyline for half a decade are no longer among the city’s downtown towers.
Workers on Thursday removed the MWV signs from the top of what was the MeadWestvaco building at 501 S. Fifth St., now the headquarters for the merged WestRock Co.
Using a scaffold, the crew ascended two sides of the building to remove the signs, dismantling each one letter at a time. By day’s end, the glass-paneled building overlooking the river showed no trace of the letters, which doubled as MeadWestvaco’s ticker symbol on the New York Stock Exchange before it combined with fellow packaging giant Rock-Tenn Co. to form WestRock.
WestRock spokesman Tucker McNeil has previously told Richmond BizSense that a program was in the works to replace the company’s signage with the WestRock name, not only on that building, but at its 300 facilities worldwide. He said Friday that the company is not planning to replace the MWV signs with WestRock signs at those locations on the building.
MWV, one of Richmond’s six Fortune 500 companies, moved its headquarters to the area in 2006 and set up shop in its riverside tower in 2010. The company was formed in 2002 by the merger of Mead Corp. and Westvaco.
The deal with Rock-Tenn was announced in January. As WestRock, the two companies have formed a packaging colossus with an expected $15.7 billion in combined annual revenue.
Since completing the merger on July 1, the company has reported second-quarter earnings that represent the consolidated incomes of MWV and Rock-Tenn pre-merger. Net income for that quarter totaled $156.4 million, up from $133.3 million the same quarter last year. Year-to-date earnings totaled $391.3 million, compared to $325.8 million the first half of 2014.
WestRock now trades under the WRK symbol. Its stock closed Friday at $57.35.
Editor’s note: This story has been updated from its original version to include additional comments from WestRock spokesman Tucker McNeil.