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)).

The Covid-19 pandemic led to the country-wide lockdown on 25 March 2020. It will be two years tomorrow as I write this. What have we learned in this time? Maybe the meaning of resilience since small companies like us have had to rely on our resources and the forbearance of our employees as we have struggled to produce our trade platforms.

The print and packaging industries have been fortunate, although the commercial printing industry is still to recover. We have learned more about the digital transformation that affects commercial printing and packaging. Ultimately digital 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.

Web analytics show that we now have readership in North America and Europe amongst the 90 countries where our five platforms reach. Our traffic which more than doubled in 2020, has at times gone up by another 50% in 2021. And advertising which had fallen to pieces in 2020 and 2021, has started its return since January 2022.

As the economy approaches real growth with unevenness and shortages a given, we are looking forward to the PrintPack India exhibition in Greater Noida. We are again appointed to produce the Show Daily on all five days of the show from 26 to 30 May 2022.

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– Naresh Khanna

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