Smurfit Kappa has rejected an unsolicited bid from International Paper (IP), saying it was “highly opportunistic”.
IP reportedly sought to acquire Smurfit Kappa, Europe’s largest cardboard box maker, with shareholders receiving a combination of cash and a minority holding in the combined business.
Smurfit Kappa said the proposal “fails entirely to reflect the group’s strong growth prospects and attractive industry outlook” – which could leave the door open to an improved offer in the future.
The board said it was in the best interests of the group’s shareholders to pursue its future as an independent company.
Liam O’Mahony, chairman of Smurfit Kappa, said: “The board has unanimously rejected this unsolicited and highly opportunistic proposal. The board believes that it is in the best interests of all stakeholders for the group to pursue its future as an independent company, headquartered in Ireland, operating as the European and pan-American leader in paper-based packaging.
”We strongly advise shareholders to take no action.”
Smurfit Kappa’s value is about €9.8bn (£8.76bn), according to FactSet data.
Such a deal would create a super-group paper company, and would mean a review of the deal by numerous competition authorities given the scale of the transaction and the spread of the two companies’ footprints.
IP did not comment.
- A version of this article orginally appeared on our sister title Packaging News