(Adds Smurfit Kappa response.)
By Adam Clark
Irish packaging company Smurfit Kappa Group PLC (SK3.DB) on Wednesday reiterated its rejection of a 8.9 billion euro ($10.6 billion) takeover approach from International Paper after regulators set a deadline for a formal bid.
"The board continues to believe that the best interests of the group's stakeholders are served by pursuing its future as an independent company," said Smurfit Kappa.
Smurfit Kappa also said it welcomes an Irish takeover panel ruling that said International Paper has until June 6 to make a binding offer or walk away.
In its response to the takeover panel announcement, released earlier on Wednesday, International Paper said it won't proceed to a formal binding offer without support from Smurfit's board.
International Paper said it believes the two companies should meet to discuss the potential deal, which was revealed by Smurfit Kappa in early March.
Smurfit Kappa has rejected the approach as failing to reflect its growth prospects. The latest proposal is priced at EUR25.25 in cash and 0.3028 new International Paper shares for each Smurfit Kappa share. Based on International Paper's closing share price on Tuesday, this values the bid at about EUR37.54 a Smurfit Kappa share.
On Wednesday, International Paper said it would allow Smurfit Kappa shareholders to vary the proportion of cash and shares received in the deal, and would seek a secondary listing on the London Stock Exchange following the takeover.
At 1420 GMT, Dublin-listed shares in Smurfit Kappa were down 5.2% at EUR33.64.
Write to Adam Clark at firstname.lastname@example.org; @AdamDowJones