Packaging setback for Smith

UK packaging company David S Smith’s bid to become one of the largest companies in the sector received a setback this week Finnish packaging company Metsa Serla has joined the bidding for Dutch group KNP. Metsa Serla, which employs 80 staff at its UK sales operation in Maidenhead, wants to expand its corrugated board division. […]

UK packaging company David S Smith’s bid to become one of the largest companies in the sector received a setback this week Finnish packaging company Metsa Serla has joined the bidding for Dutch group KNP.

Metsa Serla, which employs 80 staff at its UK sales operation in Maidenhead, wants to expand its corrugated board division.

Analysts believe David S Smith is front runner to buy KNP, Europe’s third largest corrugated board maker.

But a sale is not guaranteed. Smith has to find a venture capital partner while Metsa Serla is thought to be unable to offer the level of consolidation required.

Smith could sell off its newly-acquired Spicers wholesale distribution business, and would achieve rationalisation by taking over KNP’s Birmingham milling operation.

KNP has said it could float its corrugated board division if it cannot obtain a suitable cash offer.