Europe-based corrugated and containerboard giant Smurfit Kappa is merging with WestRock, a corrugated and consumer packaging leader in the Americas, to create Smurfit WestRock. The combined business will be a global leader in sustainable packaging, with unparalleled scale, quality, product and geographical diversity, the companies said.

Smurfit WestRock will be incorporated and domiciled in Ireland, with its global headquarters in Dublin, and its North and South American operations headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia. It is claimed it will be the largest listed global packaging business by revenue, with a combined annual adjusted revenue in the previous 12 months of $34 billion (€31.8 billion), as of 30 June 2023. Tony Smurfit will be CEO and Irial Finan will chair.

Amongst the strategic and operational rationales put forward for the combination of the two companies is the chance to combine two culturally aligned businesses that have a strong customer focus and with highly complementary portfolios, to create a global leader with reach across 42 countries. Smurfit WestRock will have breadth and depth across renewable, recyclable and biodegradable packaging solutions, employing around 100,000 people, with approximately 500 converting operations and 67 mills.

Both companies’ Boards have unanimously approved the transaction, according to Smurfit WestRock. It is reported by Reuters that Smurfit Kappa paid $11 billion (€10.28 billion) to acquire WestRock.

Tony Smurfit, CEO of Smurfit Kappa and of the new entity, said the deal was a defining moment for the global packaging industry, and commented, ‘Smurfit WestRock will be the ‘Go-To’ packaging partner of choice for customers, employees and shareholders. We 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 scales to deliver value in the short, medium and long term.’

From WestRock, CEO David Sewell said, ‘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.’