International Paper Company decides against making an offer to Smurfit Kappa Group

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International Paper Company confirmed that it will not make an offer for Smurfit Kappa Group plc, given the lack of engagement by Smurfit Kappa’s board of directors and management.

In February 2018, International Paper provided representatives of Smurfit Kappa’s board of directors with a proposal to acquire the company. Following discussions with shareholders of both the companies, IP put forward a revised proposal on 26 March 26 this year. IP believes the revised proposal was highly attractive and formed a sound basis for engagement, which the company viewed as essential to determining the full value potential of the combination.

“While we continue to believe in the strategic and financial potential of this combination, our commitment was to proceed in a disciplined manner that would create value for both sets of shareholders,” said Mark Sutton, chairman and chief executive officer of International Paper. “Moving forward, we remain focused on executing our strategy and are excited about our outlook. We have many levers to create shareholder value and will be responsible stewards of our shareholders’ capital,” added Sutton.

As a result of this announcement, International Paper is bound by the restrictions set out in Rule 2.8 of the Irish Takeover Rules. International Paper reserves the right within the next 12 months to set aside this announcement where so permitted under Rule 2.8 (including Rule 2.8(c)(ii)).

2023 promises an interesting ride for print in India

Indian Printer and Publisher founded in 1979 is the oldest B2B trade publication in the multi-platform and multi-channel IPPGroup. While the print and packaging industries have been resilient in the past 33 months since the pandemic lockdown of 25 March 2020, the commercial printing and newspaper industries have yet to recover their pre-Covid trajectory.

The fragmented commercial printing industry faces substantial challenges as does the newspaper industry. While digital short-run printing and the signage industry seem to be recovering a bit faster, ultimately their growth will also be moderated by the progress of the overall economy. On the other hand book printing exports are doing well but they too face several supply-chain and logistics challenges.

The price of publication papers including newsprint has been high in the past year while availability is diminished by several mills shutting down their publication paper and newsprint machines in the past four years. Indian paper mills are also exporting many types of paper and have raised prices for Indian printers. To some extent, this has helped in the recovery of the digital printing industry with its on-demand short-run and low-wastage paradigm.

Ultimately digital print and other digital channels will help print grow in a country where we are still far behind in our paper and print consumption and where digital is a leapfrog technology that will only increase the demand for print in the foreseeable future. For instance, there is no alternative to a rise in textbook consumption but this segment will only reach normality in the next financial year beginning on 1 April 2023.

Thus while the new normal is a moving target and many commercial printers look to diversification, we believe that our target audiences may shift and change. Like them, we will also have to adapt with agility to keep up with their business and technical information needs.

Our 2023 media kit is ready, and it is the right time to take stock and reconnect with your potential markets and customers. Print is the glue for the growth of liberal education, new industry, and an emerging economy. We seek your participation in what promises to be an interesting ride.

– Naresh Khanna

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