Belfast Telegraph

How Smurfit Kappa spent £15m seeing off takeover

By John Mulligan

Smurfit Kappa forked out €17m (£15m) to defend itself from a €9bn (£8bn) takeover approach from US firm International Paper, the Irish packaging giant has revealed in its latest set of results.

The half-year results, which saw Smurfit Kappa post a 27% rise to €724m (£644m) in earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA), have been seen by investors as vindicating the Smurfit Kappa board's decision to reject the overtures from International Paper.

Smurfit Kappa, which has an operation in Lurgan making corrugated packaging, saw its revenue in the six-month period rise 5% to €4.4bn (£3.9bn).

The FTSE-100 listed firm rejected the approach from Memphis-based International Paper, telling its own shareholders that its prospects were better as an independent business.

"The results show that an independent business is well able to deliver returns on its own merits," chief financial officer Ken Bowles said.

Mr Bowles added that Smurfit Kappa has already spent or earmarked about €800m (£711m) of €1.6bn (£1.4bn) it had vowed to spend to drive superior returns.

Belfast Telegraph

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