Smurfit WestRock merger will bring important changes to paper packaging markets

By Derek Mahlburg
RISI Fastmarkets
September 14, 2023
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States, International

WestRock and Smurfit Kappa announced the signing of a definitive merger agreement. …In our view, this deal will bring important changes to paper packaging markets throughout the Americas and solidifies international consolidation as a major supply trend for global packaging. Although it is tempting to view the combination as a significant increase in global market concentration, the combined company will have a global containerboard market share of just over 6%. For comparison, the global market shares of leading pulp producers are 9-12% for the very largest softwood kraft pulp producers. …Nonetheless, the prospect of cross-border ties offers significant advantages, which can partly be seen in each company’s already diverse portfolio of paper packaging offerings. …The combination of assets will give Smurfit WestRock an estimated Mexican market share of 36%. Thus, the Mexican market has the potential to present some of the most significant obstacles to the merger.

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