Business Irish

Wednesday 26 September 2018

Smurfit rejects increased takeover proposal

CEO Tony Smurfit, non-executive director Liam O’Mahony and chief financial officer Ken Bowles at the Smurfit Kappa Group AGM. Photo: Maxwells
CEO Tony Smurfit, non-executive director Liam O’Mahony and chief financial officer Ken Bowles at the Smurfit Kappa Group AGM. Photo: Maxwells
Ellie Donnelly

Ellie Donnelly

The board of packaging group Smurfit Kappa has said that it has rejected a revised proposal for the company from International Paper Company.

The revised proposal represents an increase in value of €1.08 per share, equivalent to less than 3pc.

Under the terms of the revised proposal – received on Thursday – Smurfit shareholders would receive €25.25 in cash and 0.3028 new shares of International Paper stock for each Smurfit Kappa share held by them, Smurfit said in a statement today.

Based on International Paper’s closing share price on 23 March of $50.15, the revised proposal would value each Smurfit Kappa share at €37.54, an increase on the 6 March proposal of €36.46.

In a statement to the stock exchange, Smurfit said that following careful consideration, together with its financial advisers, the board has unanimously rejected the revised proposal.

"The revised proposal does not make strategic sense for Smurfit Kappa and its stakeholders," Liam O’Mahony, chairman of Smurfit Kappa, said.

"The board unanimously reaffirms its belief that it is in the best interests of the group’s stakeholders for Smurfit to pursue its future as an independent company, headquartered in Ireland, operating as the European and Pan-American leader in paper-based packaging."

The board of the company went on to say that it believes that the best interests of the group’s stakeholders are served by pursuing its future as an independent company, operating as the European and Pan-American leader in paper-based packaging.

The board also said today that the revised proposal also "fundamentally undervalues the group and remains significantly below the valuations set by recent industry transactions."

Shares in the company are down almost 2pc this morning following the news.

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