Texas Pacific mulls rival Smurfit bid

The US private equity firm is sizing up a counter bid for the Irish packaging company following confirmations of the Madison Dearborn offer.

US private equity firm Texas Pacific Group may put in a counter bid against Madison Dearborn Partners' E3.7bn deal to buy Irish packaging group Jefferson Smurfit Group, according to news reports in Ireland.

It was confirmed yesterday that rival US private equity firm Madison Dearborn had agreed terms with the board of Smurfit over a E3.26 per share deal that values the Irish packaging firm at E3.7bn, which would make it the largest buyout in Irish corporate history.

Smurfit yesterday confirmed that it had received one other approach, although the identity of the bidder was not revealed. A report in the Irish Independent newspaper suggests that Texas Pacific, headed by Irish budget airline Ryanair chairman David Bonderman, 'has made an approach which could lead to a competitive bid [for Smurfit]'. No-one from Texas Pacific was available for comment.

A report in today’s Financial Times suggests that Kohlberg Kravis Roberts was also considering acquiring some of the equity of Smurfit. No-one at KKR could be reached for comment.