Smurfit Kappa, WestRock to Merge

DUBLIN–Smurfit Kappa, and WestRock have signed a definitive agreement to create Smurfit WestRock, a global leader in sustainable packaging. Combination will enhance Smurfit Kappa and WestRock’s existing offerings by creating the global “Go-To” packaging partner of choice and bringing together:

  • Smurfit Kappa’s industry leading operational execution and innovation as a European leader in corrugated and container board, as well as its large scale, pan-regional Americas presence that delivers best-in-class performance and returns
  • WestRock’s leadership in the United States, as well as its strong footprint in Brazil and Mexico, across corrugated and consumer packaging, delivering a broad portfolio of packaging solutions serving diverse, growing end-markets

Together, Smurfit Kappa and WestRock generated combined adjusted annual revenue of approximately $34 billion as of  June 30, 2023.

Smurfit WestRock will be incorporated and domiciled in Ireland with global headquarters in Dublin, and its North and South American operations based in Atlanta. Subject to shareholder and regulatory approvals and other customary closing conditions, the combination is expected to close in the second quarter of calendar year 2024–on or before Dec. 31, 2023. Following merger, WestRock will be the operating name and stand as a wholly owned subsidiary of Smurfit WestRock.

Commenting on the development, Tony Smurfit, CEO of Smurfit Kappa, said, “This incredibly exciting coming together of our two great companies is a defining moment within the global packaging industry. Smurfit WestRock will have the leading assets, a unique global footprint in both paper and corrugated, a superb consumer and specialty packaging business, significant synergies, and enhanced scale to deliver value in the short, medium and long term.”

David Sewell, CEO of WestRock, remarked, “We look forward to working with Smurfit Kappa to build a leading global platform that harnesses the strength of WestRock’s consumer portfolio, presents a truly comprehensive offering of packaging solutions for customers and delivers meaningful value to our shareholders today and into the future. Smurfit Kappa shares our deep commitment to innovation across the packaging lifecycle, and we are confident that Smurfit WestRock will continue to lead the industry forward. I’m grateful to WestRock’s team members, whose hard work has made this combination possible, and excited for the many opportunities that will arise from becoming part of the partner of choice in our industry.”

Irial Finan, chair of Smurfit Kappa, explained, “We believe that all shareholders will benefit through ownership of a world-leading, sustainable packaging business; the combination of two of the industry’s most experienced teams with a proven track record of delivery; and, a diverse product portfolio and compelling innovation offering.”

Finally,  Alan Wilson, chair of WestRock, observed,“This combination will enable WestRock to advance its key growth initiatives on a global scale while providing our shareholders with the opportunity to participate meaningfully in the combined company’s significant upside value potential.”

Smurfit WestRock will be led by Irial Finan as chair, Tony Smurfit as CEO, with Ken Bowles as CFO.  The combined company’s reach will be unparalleled, extending across 42 countries with a significant presence across both Europe and the Americas.  The merger should improve operating efficiency and increased returns across approximately 500 converting operations and 67 mills, at the same time it enhances career opportunities for approximately 100,000 employees.