Publication: PULP & PAPER INTERNATIONAL
Highlights in the history of the Jefferson Smurfit Group
1934 Company incorporated as general box makers in Rathmines, Dublin.
1938 Founder and late chairman, Jefferson Smurfit Sr. purchased company.
1950 Decided to concentrate on corrugated box production; built two paper machines.
1964 In June, Irish Stock Exchange quotation obtained.
1965 In August acquired 51 % of CR Bailey. New 9,750 m corrugated case factory built in Dublin.
1968 Size of group doubled with acquisition of publicly quoted carton and box company, Temple Press.
1970 Acquisition of the Hely Group (packaging, radio, television, distribution, education and office supplies) doubling size of group.
1971 First acquisition in UK - WJ Noble.
1973 Purchase of Tremletts in UK, doubling size of group.
1974 First venture into USA through 40% acquisition of Time Industries Inc.
1977 Time Industries purchased in full and name changed to Smurfit Industries Inc. Jefferson Smurfit Sr, founder of Group dies. Michael WJ Smurfit appointed Chairman and CEO.
1979 Purchase of 25% shareholding in Alton Box Board.
1980 Increase holding in Alton Box Board to 80% and company renamed as the Alton Packaging Corporation. Further small acquisitions in USA.
1983 Group's UK corrugated interests merged with MacMillan Bloedel Limited to form MacMillan, Smurfit, SCA Limited, trading as UK Corrugated. Acquired 50% of Diamond Match Company. US operations reorganized with majority becoming subsidiaries of Jefferson Smurfit Corp (JSC). In November, 22% of JSC floated on New York OTC market raising $46 million net.
1984 Record profits of IR50 million achieved in company's jubilee year. Acquired remaining 50% of Diamond Match.
1985 Forbes Magazine placed JSC number one in survey of top 1,000 US corporations ranked by earnings growth over five years.
1986 JSC acquired 80% of Publishers Paper Company in Oregon, USA, for $133 million. Subsequently renamed Smurfit Newsprint Corporation (SNC) with Times Mirror retaining 20% stake. Group's first investment in newsprint. In joint venture with Morgan Stanley Leveraged Equity fund, JSC acquired 50% of Container Corporation of America (CCA) from Mobil Oil for approximately $1,200 million, giving JSC effective interest of 39%. Deal more than doubled US operations under JSG management.
1987 Smurfit exercised option to acquire CCA's European interests, increasing stake from 39% to 100%. Companies as follows: Vosacec SpA (Italy), Mercurius Verpakking BV (Netherlands) and CartoEspana SA (Spain). Further inroads were made in Venezuela, Puerto Rico, Colombia and Italy, and a new corrugated plant opened at Juarez in Mexico.
1988 In Spain, purchased Industrial Cartonera and 30% of Papelera Navarra. Colombian associate announced $34 million groundwood project.
1989/1990 JSC acquired Dinagraphics with plants in Norwood and Middleton, Ohio. Cundell Group, UK-based specialist corrugated producer purchased. Italian corrugator, Ondulato Imolese, acquired. Group exercised options, increased Colombian stake from 25% to 64%, and from 39% to 100% in Mexico. JSC acquired Cartonera Nacional, a corrugated packaging manufacturer in Puerto Rico. Major restructuring of Group's US interests completed, involving purchase of 22% minority stake in JSC and new joint venture company with Morgan Stanley, acquiring JSC/CCA from Group for cash, releasing $1,250 million to Group.
First investment acquisition in Germany of CD Haupt, producer of graphic board and materials for corrugated board industry. Euronda, corrugated manufacturing company is acquired in Italy.
Group acquired Golden State Newsprint and Pacific Recycling in California for $95 million, operating 100% recycled newsprint mill and 10 wastepaper facilities. Group acquired Compagnie General des Cartons Ondules (CGCO), France, producing recycled containerboard and corrugated board. Texboard, high quality papertube manufacturer in UK acquired.
Group acquired Townsend Hook group of companies in UK operating large paper mill producing both corrugated case materials and coated papers with ancillary activities of paper merchants and waste paper agents.
1991 Acquired Lestrem group of companies in France. Operations include solid/graphic board mill and converting facilities. Acquired Hollandia Verpakking, solid board converting operation in Netherlands. JSC acquired two corrugated containers facilities from Boise Cascade. Acquired Atlas group of companies, manufacturers of containerboard and corrugated containers in Mexico. Acquired second largest wastepaper collection company in France, Centre de Dechets Industries (CDI).
1992 52% subsidiary acquired Finlay Packaging plc, manufacturer of cigarette cartons in Northern Ireland. Completed 100% stake in De Halm, solid/graphic board operation in the Netherlands. Acquired 25% interest in Winera in St. Lucia. JSC increased stake in Groveton Paperboard from 48% to 58%. Stake in Venezuelan operations increased from 78% to 86%.
1994 JSC/CCA makes initial public offering of 19.25 million shares at $13 per share. Effective reduction in JSG's holding is offset by purchase of further 11.54 million shares in JSC/CCA giving it 46.5% stake in corporation. Value of JSG's investment is now in range of $450 million.
Acquisition of paper and packaging operations of St Gobain (La Celullose du Pin) for IR682 million, with operations in France, Italy, Spain and Belgium and total sales of IR958 million. Operations produce kraftliner, recycled paper, corrugated containers, coated papers, sack paper, sacks and plywood. Transaction makes Smurfit Europe's largest paper-based packaging group.
1995 Confirmation of subscription of shares in Austrian-based paper group, Nettingsdorfer, representing stake of 27.5%. Nettingsdorfer has operations in Austria and Italy, as well as having a share in the Duropack group operating in Germany, Austria and Eastern Europe. Smurfit International BV (SIBV) files cash offer for entire share capital of Les Papeteries du Limousin (France) valuing PdL at approximately IR56 million. Offer accepted over 95% of capital in PdL.
JSC announces joint venture with company in People's Republic of China to purchase controlling interest in linerboard mill near Shanghai. Venture marks JSC's entry into Asia. Some 29% of Munksjö AB (Sweden) is acquired from Trelleborg AB by group subsidiary. Group announces ADR listing on the New York Stock Exchange, the first European based paper and forest products company to do so. JSG enters joint venture with Singapore-based New Toyo, creating Smurfit Toyo with carton printing plants in Singapore, Hong Kong and China. Group issues $600 million in bonds on US over the counter market. It is awarded "Yankee Bond of the Year" for the issue.
© 1996 Miller Freeman, Inc. All rights reserved.