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Takeover bid for Smurfit Kappa stalls

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'Smurfit Kappa's shares fell heavily after the Memphis-based giant insisted it would press ahead with a new bid only if it had the support of Smurfit Kappa's board' (stock photo)

'Smurfit Kappa's shares fell heavily after the Memphis-based giant insisted it would press ahead with a new bid only if it had the support of Smurfit Kappa's board' (stock photo)

Alex Dodd

'Smurfit Kappa's shares fell heavily after the Memphis-based giant insisted it would press ahead with a new bid only if it had the support of Smurfit Kappa's board' (stock photo)

The deadlock between International Paper and Smurfit Kappa - which has an operation in Lurgan - continued yesterday after the US giant ruled out a hostile takeover move while its Dublin-based target insisted the current bid remains too low relative to other mergers in the sector.

The standoff has left the market divided on whether International Paper will submit a third offer by the June 6 deadline set by the Irish Takeover Panel (ITP).

Smurfit Kappa's shares fell heavily after the Memphis-based giant insisted it would press ahead with a new bid only if it had the support of Smurfit Kappa's board.

In a statement welcoming the 'put up or shut up' ruling from the ITP, which is designed to limit the period of uncertainty hanging over a potential target, the family-run company described International Paper's two proposals so far as "significantly below the board's assessment of the group's true intrinsic worth and prospects".

Belfast Telegraph