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Major Paper and Packaging Announcement: Smurfit Kappa Merges with WestRock

Major Paper and Packaging Announcement: Smurfit Kappa Merges with WestRock

Some important news to share in the paper and packaging world.

According to a statement from its website, Irish firm Smurfit Kappa is in active negotiations to merge with the US-based WestRock.

The combined company will be aptly titled Smurfit WestRock with its global headquarters in Dublin (where Smurfit Kappa is located). North and South American operations will be headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia.

Smurfit Kappa serves as Europe's biggest producer of paper and packaging products. It operates in 22 countries across Europe and 13 countries across North, South and Central America. WestRock is the second biggest packaging firm in the US next to International Paper.

Main Objectives of the Merger

The announcement described multiple strategic and operational rationales for the merger. Highlights include:

  • Complementary Portfolios: Both companies complement one another in terms of locations, customers, and products.
  • Further Global Reach: Together, Smurfit Kappa will service 42 countries, especially amplifying its presence Europe and the Americas.
  • Sustainability Leadership: Both companies remain committed to sustainability goals. Coming together will help further those goals with an even broader scope.
  • Global Management Expertise: Combined management experience and expertise from both sides will make the new company a global leader in operational excellence.
  • Improved Efficiency: Operational efficiency will see improvements across the combined 67 mills and 500+ converting operations of both companies.

WestRock Already Working Toward Optimization with Mill Closure in Tacoma

The Smurfit WestRock merger reflects a commitment from both companies toward improved operational efficiency and performance optimization.

We have recently seen some movement in service to this goal when WestRock announced the closure of their Tacoma, Washington paper mill in August. The full effects of this closure on the residual chips and overall forestry market in Washington remain to be seen. It’s likely this merger will have additional market reactions that may also resonate across that region.

Over 100,000 Jobs and Innovations for Sustainability

According to a report from Reuters, the current combined market capital of both firms totals about $19 billion. Revenue for both companies amounted to $34 billion over the past 12 months ending in June. Smurfit WestRock will have about 100,000 employees when the merger is finalized.

As the announcement furthered, the merger will also create diversity and innovation aimed toward a sustainable future. This will include everything from recycled packaging to breakthroughs in both renewable energy usage and biodegradability of their products.

Terms of the deal are still being ironed out, so we will keep you updated on the details as they are made public.

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