The largest cardboard box manufacturer in Europe and major purchaser of recovered fibre has rejected a takeover bid from US firm International Paper Company.
Smurfit Kappa strongly advised shareholders to “take no action” over the €8.6 billion (£7.7 billion) approach by the packaging, pulp and paper firm.
In a statement, Smurfit Kappa described the bid price as unsolicited and highly opportunistic.
It added: “The board of Smurfit Kappa has already carefully considered, with its financial advisers, the proposal in detail and has unanimously rejected it on the basis that it fails entirely to reflect the Group’s superior prospects as an independent business and represents a valuation multiple significantly below recent comparable transactions.
“Shareholders are strongly advised to take no action.
“This announcement is made without the consent of International Paper.
“There can be no certainty that any firm offer will be made, nor any certainty as to the terms on which any firm offer might be made by International Paper.”
But in a statement, International Paper said that it was “disappointed” by the reaction by the Smurfit Kappa board and that it remains ready to engage with it.
It added: “International Paper believes that the transaction, if consummated, would be an excellent strategic fit that creates long-term value for both Smurfit Kappa and International Paper.
“The enlarged group would constitute a premier global packaging company that would be able to serve both local and global customers more effectively. The transaction would also create an opportunity to realise meaningful synergies through enhanced efficiencies.”
Dublin-based Smurfit Kappa has 46,000 employees across the 35 countries, including in the UK.
While International Paper, based in Memphis, operates in 24 countries and has 52,000 employees.