Stora Enso has received regulatory approval from the EU Commission to proceed with its previously announced acquisition of De Jong Packaging Group.

News of the acquisition was confirmed in September 2022, with closure of the transaction ongoing and expected to be finalised at the start of 2023.

Founded in 1996, De Jong Packaging is one of the largest corrugated packaging producers in the Benelux countries, although it has a wider footprint in Europe with 17 sites in total across the Netherlands, Belgium, Germany and in the UK. The company specialises in corrugated trays and boxes mainly for fresh produce, e-commerce and industry. The business is also active in containerboard production through its own acquisition of the De Hoop paper mill in the Netherlands in 2021.

Representing an enterprise value of approximately just north of €1 billion, this acquisition will, according to the acquiring company, ‘advance Stora Enso’s strategic direction, accelerate revenue growth and build market share in renewable packaging in Europe.’

Specifically, the De Jong Packaging product portfolio and geographic presence will complement and enhance Stora Enso’s offering in the aforementioned markets

. Further, the acquisition ‘significantly’ strengthens Stora Enso’s European market presence in corrugated packaging and provides an entry into the Netherlands, Belgium, Germany and the UK. Stora Enso described the European corrugated packaging market as ‘fragmented, with local presence key for sustainable growth.’ Stora Enso’s Packaging Solutions division will increase its corrugated packaging capacity by approximately 1.1 billion sqm to more than 2 billion sqm, including De Jong Packaging Group’s ongoing expansion projects.

Annica Bresky, president and CEO at Stora Enso, commented, ‘In line with our strategy, we are investing in growing our market share in renewable and circular packaging solutions. De Jong Packaging has a solid presence in the corrugated packaging sector and an impressive customer base. Acquiring its operations supports our future strategic direction to advance renewable packaging solutions within Europe.’

Her colleague David Ekberg, executive vice president, Stora Enso Packaging Solutions, added, ‘With our shared focus on agility and customer value and with the excellent teams in both companies, we will create a strong platform for future growth. De Jong Packaging Group has a solid track record of growth in corrugated packaging, which combined with our experience in innovative design, digital solutions and sustainability services, will enable us to strengthen our offering.’

Henk de Jong, owner of De Jong Packaging Group, and Ad Smit, the group’s CEO, jointly said, ‘We are proud of what has been achieved at De Jong Packaging Group and we now look forward to the next steps in our company’s journey. Stora Enso is well positioned to drive further growth in line with our common ambition.’