Last July the UK-based company announced the €247m (₤207m) takeover, which is subject now to regulatory approval and a shareholder vote. Due to its product mix, Otor operates at significantly higher margins compared to DS Smith and the combination will result in margin improvement for the enlarged group. In addition, DS Smith sees the Otor acquisition as an opportunity to build its presence in the French market for corrugated board, which it said was estimated to be worth €23bn in 2008.
The company said that despite a slowdown over the past couple of years the French FMCG corrugated packaging market is expected to return to annual growth of 1.4 per cent over the next four years. Exposure to the food and grocery market is particularly positive as sales of corrugated packaging in the sector maintained growth throughout the course of 2008 and 2009.