International Paper

Sard Verbinnen is handling International Paper’s nearly $11B bid for Ireland’s Smurfit Kappa, which believes (at this point) that independence is its best strategy.

Memphis-based IP made its initial offer for the packaging company in March. The company ruled out a hostile bid on May 16, saying it will not proceed with a binding offer unless it’s accepted by SK’s board of directors.

SK applauded IP’s decision to seek its blessing for a deal but maintains that its best interests “are served by pursuing the future as an independent company, operating as the European and Pan-American leader in paper-based packaging.”

It rapped the American company’s offer as below its “true intrinsic worth and prospects and remain significantly below the valuations set by recent industry transactions.”

Ireland’s takeover panel established June 6 as the deadline for IP to decide whether to pursue or drop its quest for SK.

SV&C’s David Reno and Joe Aarons represent IP along with Rory Godson, founder of UK-based Powerscourt.