Britain’s Mondi said on Thursday it is in the early stages of considering a possible all-share bid for its smaller rival DS Smith, a move which could create a packaging giant worth more than $12.6 billion. DS Smith had earlier on disclosed that it received a highly preliminary expression of interest from Mondi. …A bid for DS Smith by Mondi, which under UK takeover rules has until March 7 to make a firm offer or walk away, would mark the second recent multi-billion attempt at consolidation in the paper and packaging industry. Rival Smurfit Kappa is buying WestRock in a $11 billion deal that has not yet closed. “Paper and packaging is a very fragmented industry (especially in Europe) and consolidation is inevitable,” Barclays analyst Pallav Mittal wrote. …DS Smith CEO Miles Roberts, who plans to retire, had overseen the London-based company’s expansion into Europe and the U.S.