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Mondi Considering All Share Combination with DS Smith; Could Create Packaging Giant

DS Smith corrugated packaging plant DS Smith is a producer of paper and paper-based packaging products, along with being one of the largest cardboard and paper recyclers in Europe. DS Smith operates in more than 30 different countries and employs over 30,000 people.

Feb. 9, 2024 - Mondi has confirmed that it is in the early stages of considering a possible all share combination with DS Smith.

Mondi explained that it "routinely considers various options within its disciplined capital allocation framework aimed at accelerating its growth in the structurally growing packaging sectors in which it operates."

According global news agency Reuters, the deal could create a packaging giant worth more than 10 billion pounds ($12.6 billion).

Reuters also reported that DS Smith "had earlier on disclosed that it received a highly preliminary expression of interest from Mondi, although no formal proposal."

In an announcement on Feb 8, Mondi said that it "believes that a possible all share combination with DS Smith represents an exciting opportunity to create an industry leader in European paper-based sustainable packaging solutions," citing:

  • well positioned to benefit from structural growth trends in sustainable packaging;
  • benefitting from enhanced vertical integration, bringing with it a balanced paper position, greater earnings resilience through the cycle and enhanced security of paper supply, for the benefit of both shareholders and customers; and,
  • benefitting from substantial synergies as a result of vertical integration alongside highly complementary positions and expertise in containerboard, corrugated solutions and flexible packaging, in addition to expected benefits from economies of scale and efficiencies across a combined supply chain and administration.

Mondi said its strategy is to deliver value accretive growth and, as noted above, adopts a disciplined approach to acquisitions and investment within its capital allocation framework. Any transaction with DS Smith would be assessed against this framework.

Mondi noted that there can be no certainty that an offer will be made to acquire DS Smith.

Mondi also noted: "In accordance with Rule 2.6(a) of the Code, Mondi is required, by not later than 5.00 p.m. on 7 March 2024, to either announce a firm intention to make an offer for DS Smith in accordance with Rule 2.7 of the Code or announce that it does not intend to make an offer for DS Smith, in which case the announcement will be treated as a statement to which Rule 2.8 of the Code applies. This deadline can only be extended with the consent of the Takeover Panel in accordance with Rule 2.6(c) of the Code."

Mondi is a global leader in packaging and paper. Its business is integrated across the value chain - from managing forests and producing pulp, paper and films, to developing and manufacturing sustainable consumer and industrial packaging solutions using paper where possible, plastic when useful.

SOURCE: Mondi and Reuters

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