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French connection gives DS Smith go-ahead on SCA deal

Recycled packaging producer DS Smith has announced that its offer to acquire the packaging division of Sweden’s SCA Packaging in a €1.7 billion deal, now also extends to the company’s related operations in France.

Announced mid-January, UK-based DS Smith’s original offer for SCA, the second-largest pan-European packaging business, included all of the company’s packaging operations with the exception of its two kraftliner mills in Sweden.

However, the inclusion of SCA’s operations in France was managed separately, and was subject to consultation with the French ‘works councils’ – a process which has now been completed.

Following the signing of the sale and purchase agreement, the process will continue towards completing the entire transaction, which includes review of relevant competition authorities.

On completion – expected at the end of June – DS Smith’s share of the European packaging market will rise to about 14%, second only to Smurfit Kappa at about 17%.

The deal is said to bring many synergies to the two companies, including access for DS Smith to new markets in eastern Europe, the Nordic countries and northern Europe, while the sale allows SCA to focus on its core business in forestry and the hygiene sector.

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