Tuesday 23 October 2018

International Paper shares slide following Smurfit snubs

Smurfit Kappa shares edged 0.76pc higher to €34.62, as the packaging giant said its first quarter profits jumped 22pc to €340m.
Smurfit Kappa shares edged 0.76pc higher to €34.62, as the packaging giant said its first quarter profits jumped 22pc to €340m.

Gretchen Friemann

US paper packaging giant International Paper yesterday insisted it would continue to look at its "options" on Smurfit Kappa, despite receiving two rebuttals to its unsolicited takeover offers for the Dublin-based company.

Mark Sutton, chief executive of the Memphis-headquartered group that recently sweetened an offer for Europe's largest boxmaker to €8.9bn, said he was "disappointed" by the lack of engagement from Smurfit's board. On an analyst call to cover International Paper's quarterly results, Mr Sutton said "there is a process that we are in right now and we will continue to look at our options and I'm not at liberty to say what the next decision is".

He added: "We have a compelling proposal on the table and we're disappointed we haven't been able to engage with Smurfit-Kappa." International Paper's shares were down by 1.6pc at the time of writing, despite the group reporting first quarter net sales of US$5.62bn - 2.7pc ahead of market expectations. The company notched up net earnings of $729m, or $1.74 per share, in the quarter, compared to net earnings of $209m, or $0.50 per share, in the previous period.

In an analyst note, UBS highlighted the rise in raw material costs but said that on the pulp and printing side prices "positively surprised".

Smurfit Kappa's share price rose by over 2pc yesterday to close at €35.12.

Irish Independent

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