Friday 19 October 2018

Smurfit shares rise is it rejects 'unsolicited' and 'opportunistic' bid

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

Shares in packaging giant Smurfit Kappa have risen by over 18pc in early trading on the London Stock Exchange after the company advised shareholders to reject what it has described as an "unsolicited and highly opportunistic" bid for the company.

In a statement this morning, the Dublin-listed company said that it had carefully considered the proposal from Memphis-headquartered International Paper Company, and that it believed that it is in the best interests of shareholders and other stakeholders to pursue its future as an independent company.

"The Board of Smurfit Kappa has unanimously rejected this unsolicited and highly opportunistic Proposal. It does not reflect the group’s true intrinsic business worth or its prospects," Liam O’Mahony, chairman of Smurfit Kappa, said.

"We delivered a record performance in 2017 and underlying trading momentum has continued into 2018. The group has a proven management team which we believe will deliver significantly greater value for shareholders on a stand-alone basis," Mr O’Mahony continued.

"We strongly advise shareholders to take no action."

Smurfit Kappa recently announced record earnings before interest, taxation, depreciation, and amortisation for 2017 of €1.2bn.

As part of its year end results, the company, which is the largest producer of paper-based packaging in Europe, announced an acceleration of its investment programme based on plans to improve its market position and strengthen its integrated model between 2018 and 2021.

Smurfit Kappa has earmarked €600m of its new investment programme for 2018, on projects that will be completed between this year and up to 2020.

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