A Bloomberg report, citing ‘people familiar with the matter’, said Mondi has spoken with advisors over the merits of a deal – and the reports saw Smith shares rise as much as 14% in Thursdays early deals (at around 9:00am the share was up 30.1p or 7.84% at 414.1p).
The deliberations were said to be at an early stage, and both companies declined to comment on the story according to Bloomberg.
In the tangible news of the day, Mondi’s full year results for the twelve months ended December 31 revealed EUR1.35bn of earnings (underlying EBITDA) and EUR1.48bn of cash generated from operations.
The packaging group recommended a 60 Euro cents per share dividend, marking a 5% increase.
“Mondi delivered a robust performance in 2020,” said Andrew King, Mondi chief executive.
“This is testament to the strength of our business model in the face of significantly lower average selling prices across our key pulp and paper grades, and the challenges brought by COVID-19.”
King added: “Looking ahead, although the near-term macroeconomic outlook continues to be uncertain, we remain confident in the structural growth drivers in the packaging sectors in which we operate and the strength of our paper position.”
Mondi shares rose by 1.75% to change hands at 1,833.5p each.