Market Overview

International Paper Rules Out Hostile Takeover Of Smurfit Kappa


Per Reuters, International Paper Company (NYSE: IP) has decided not to put across a hostile bid to take over its Ireland-based rival, Smurfit Kappa. The company was given time up to Jun 6 to make a binding offer for the buyout, by the Irish Takeover Panel.

In March, International Paper's bid to take over Smurfit Kappa was rejected by the European rival citing gross undervaluation and arguing that it was better served pursuing its future as an independent company. The proposal included a cash-and-stock offer of €25.25 in cash along with 0.3 new shares of International Paper for each share of Smurfit. The previous offer valued the Irish group at €8.9 billion.

International Paper has changed its terms to offer Smurfit shareholders a "mix and match" facility that would allow them to receive a greater or lesser proportion of cash or shares.  

At the outset, the company stressed the importance of proceeding on an agreed basis. It believes that its current proposal represents a compelling strategic and financial rationale for a merger with Smurfit Kappa.  

In that context, International Paper has confirmed that it will not proceed with a binding offer unless it is recommended by Smurfit Kappa's board of directors. Also, the company confirmed that it would seek a secondary listing on the London Stock Exchange, to enable Smurfit Kappa shareholders to realize the potential value of the transaction.

However, Smurfit Kappa believes that International Paper's latest proposal has failed to value its intrinsic business worth and it is very comfortable with the position outlined to its shareholders. International Paper suggested that the two companies should meet to discuss the potential for the combined firm.

International Paper continues to restructure itself to transform into a core packaging company. M&As remain a key strategy to strengthen its long-term business proposition.

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The preceding article is from one of our external contributors. It does not represent the opinion of Benzinga and has not been edited.

Posted-In: contributor contributors Smurfit KappaM&A News


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