Following the announcement of a possible combination dated 7 September 2023, the Boards of Smurfit Kappa, a FTSE 100 company, and WestRock are pleased to announce the signing of a definitive transaction agreement to create Smurfit WestRock, a global leader in sustainable packaging. The Boards of Smurfit Kappa and WestRock see compelling strategic, commercial and financial rationale for combining Smurfit Kappa and WestRock’s highly complementary paper-based packaging companies to create a global leader in sustainable packaging. The 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 containerboard as well as its large-scale pan-regional Americas presence that delivers best-in-class performance and returns; and *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.
Smurfit Kappa, which celebrates 40 years of producing Bag-in-Box® packaging solutions, has experienced remarkable growth in Europe and particularly France where sales have tripled in the last 10 years.
The rise in Bag-in-Box® wine sales reflects changes in consumer behaviour and social trends. The longer shelf life, ease of use and reduction in wastage has made it more attractive both to consumers and retailers. In addition to France, Smurfit Kappa Bag-in-Box® sales have also risen across the business, particularly in Argentina, Denmark, Norway, Russia, Sweden and the US.
Launched in Epernay, France in 1977, the revolutionary Smurfit Kappa Bag-in-Box® packaging has continuously evolved over the years with the addition of innovative solutions including the Vitop® tap, high-specification filling machine systems and Pouch-Up® packs.
These innovations have lead Smurfit Kappa to occupy the leadership position for Bag-in-Box® solutions in Europe. The Bag-in-Box® packaging also provides brand owners with increased branding opportunities at the point of purchase, which Smurfit Kappa champions through its innovative ShelfSmart solution.
“Our 40 years of experience has meant that we were in a unique position to capitalise on the recent growth in popularity of Bag-in-Box® wines. While Bag-in-Box® packaging is most commonly associated with wine, we also cater for a diverse range of products including juice, liquid eggs, dairy and also non-food applications such as motor oil and chemicals,” said Thierry Minaud, CEO of the Smurfit Kappa Bag-in-Box® division.
“Thanks to their low carbon footprint and the extended shelf life which they provide, our Bag-in-Box® products offer a more sustainable choice of packaging for many industries. We are proud of what has been achieved so far.”