The IRI Group is a family-owned integrated packaging and paper producer concentrated on the East Coast of the United States, operating from 19 production sites and having approximately 1,500 employees. For the year ended 31 December 2016, the IRI Group had revenues of $618 million.

The IRI Group operates across the entire packaging chain including wood procurement, paper manufacturing, design, packaging manufacturing and customer logistics. Customers in the United States accounted for 94 per cent. of turnover in the year ended 31 December 2016, with the majority of the IRI Group’s customer base for its packaging products being FMCG and food customers.

The acquisition of Interstate Resources give to DS Smith a well-positioned and attractive entry point into the US market. And also the opportunity to grow and support customers’ needs over this large and growing market, said DS Smith. "It is a further important step in our strategy, further building a higher quality, higher margin group with more growth potential".

The Buyer and Merpas UKCo (an entity within the Merpas group that will hold the shares in IMRI) have also agreed that, on fixed dates over the next four years, Merpas UKCo can require the Buyer to acquire some or all of the remaining shares in IMRI on agreed terms and, on the fifth anniversary of Completion, the Buyer shall (unless the Buyer and Merpas UKCo agree otherwise) acquire any shares in IMRI that it does not already own, on agreed terms (any such further acquisition of shares in IMRI being a Further Acquisition and, together with the Initial Acquisition, the Acquisition).

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