What's Happening in the OCC Market

by Repackify
Cover Image for What's Happening in the OCC Market

Two the largest paper companies in the world merge in 2024:

The Irish paperboard and packaging company Smurfit Kappa bought Atlanta-based WestRock for $11.2 billion. Despite being announced on September 12, 2023, the merger isn't expected to happen until 2024. As the largest listed global packaging partner by revenue, Smurfit WestRock will have about $34 billion in adjusted annual revenue, making it a major player in the paper and packaging industry.

According to the terms of the transaction, WestRock stockholders will receive a total consideration of $43.51 per WestRock share, based on the closing price of Smurfit Kappa ordinary shares as of September 11, 2023. As a result of the merger, Smurfit Kappa and WestRock shareholders will own approximately 50.4% and 49.6% of Smurfit WestRock, respectively.
Having combined two highly complementary portfolios, the merger is seen as a defining moment within the global packaging industry. With a significant presence in Europe and the Americas, the combined company will have an unprecedented geographic reach across 42 countries. Furthermore, it will provide sustainable packaging solutions that are renewable, recyclable, and biodegradable.

Smurfit WestRock will be led by Tony Smurfit as CEO, with Irial Finan as Chair and Ken Bowles as CFO. A board of Directors consisting of 6 WestRock directors and 8 Smurfit Kappa directors will be elected. Approximately 500 converting operations and 67 mills will benefit from this merger as a means to advance key growth initiatives globally.
Critics, however, are not without their reservations about this merger. The strategic logic of this $20 billion tie-up, which is expected to catapult the company to a global leadership position in the sector, has been questioned by an institutional investor.