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Freshfields advises Smurfit Kappa on its merger with WestRock

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer (‘Freshfields’) advises Smurfit Kappa Group plc (Smurfit Kappa), a FTSE 100 company, on its merger with WestRock, an S&P 500 company, to create Smurfit WestRock. Smurfit WestRock’s ordinary shares will be dual listed on the New York Stock Exchange, and on the standard segment of the Official List of the FCA and admitted to trading on the main market of the London Stock Exchange.

Smurfit Kappa, headquartered in Ireland, is one of the leading providers of paper-based packaging solutions in the world, with more than 47,000 employees in over 350 production sites across 36 countries and with revenue of €12.8 billion in 2022. WestRock, headquartered in the US, partners with customers to provide differentiated, sustainable paper and packaging solutions and support customers around the world from locations spanning North America, South America, Europe, Asia and Australia. Together, Smurfit Kappa and WestRock generated combined last twelve months adjusted annual revenue of approximately $34 billion as of 30 June 2023, which would make Smurfit WestRock the largest listed global packaging partner by revenue.

Completion is expected to occur in the second quarter of 2024, subject to shareholder and regulatory approvals, as well as other related closing conditions.

The Freshfields team was led by partners Piers Prichard Jones and Nick Jones, supported by counsel Richard Ho and Ethan Magid, senior associate Toby Holborow and associate Nii Sekan. Antitrust advice was provided by partner Rafique Bachour, principal associate Marta Janek, and legal consultant Rita Leitão