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International Paper to drop bid for Smurfit Kappa

Key Points
  • International Paper has confirmed that it will not make an offer for Irish packaging firm Smurfit Kappa, citing a lack of engagement with Smurfit's management.
  • American company International Paper had been courting Smurfit for several months, and already made two bids earlier in the year.
We're a consolidator ourselves, says Smurfit Kappa Group CEO

International Paper confirmed on Tuesday that it will not make an offer for Irish packaging company Smurfit Kappa, because of lack of engagement from Smurfit's management.

"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," the paper-packaging firm said in a statement.

International Paper has decided to end its pursuit after courting Smurfit for more than three months, according to people familiar with the matter.

Under Ireland's rules, Memphis-based International Paper will be barred from making a fresh attempt to buy Smurfit for 12 months once it has dropped its current approach.

Paul Taggert | Bloomberg | Getty Images

The decision comes after the American company made two takeover proposals in February and March, both of which were rejected. The first valued Smurfit at 36.46 euros ($42.71) a share and the second at 37.54 euros per share, or 8.9 billion euros.

Smurfit Kappa had argued that it was better served pursuing its future as an independent company.

International Paper last month ruled out making a hostile bid for Smurfit and instead asked the Irish company to discuss its proposal.