Smurfit Kappa and WestRock will join to create a global packaging company with a value of almost $20 billion.
Smurfit Kappa has a stronghold in Europe with its corrugated and containerboard products. WestRock dominates in the U.S. in corrugated and consumer packaging and has a footprint in Brazil and Mexico as well.
The companies are the fifth and seventh largest packaging companies worldwide and combined, would become the second largest behind West Pharmaceutical, which makes drug packaging.
WestRock shareholders will receive $5 in cash and one share in the new company, called Smurfit WestRock, for each WestRock share that they own. This is equivalent to $43.51 per WestRock share, which makes the transaction worth about $11 billion.
Smurfit WestRock will be incorporated and domiciled in Ireland, with global headquarters in Dublin, Ireland, where Smurfit Kappa is based. Its North and South American operations will be based in Atlanta, where WestRock has its headquarters.
The companies combined reported adjusted annual revenue of approximately $34 billion in the last year. The board of the new company will include six WestRock directors and eight Smurfit Kappa directors. Smurfit Kappa CEO Tony Smurfit will be the chief executive of the combined company. Irial Finan, the chairman at Smurfit Kappa, will be chair of the company and Ken Bowles, chief financial officer at Smurfit Kappa, will serve as CFO of Smurfit WestRock.
The boards of both companies have approved the combination, which is targeted to close in the second quarter of 2024. It will need antitrust approval in the U.S. and the European Union.
Once the transaction closes, Smurfit WestRock shares will list on the New York Stock Exchange.
Shares of WestRock climbed more than 7% before the market open on Tuesday.