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Smurfit in Good Position to Be Bought, Schoenfeld Says

Dec. 2 (Bloomberg) -- Smurfit-Stone Container Corp. is in a good position to be taken over after emerging from bankruptcy, said Peter Schoenfeld, whose P. Schoenfeld Asset Management LLP is an investor in the company.

If “strategic or financial” companies want to take over Chicago-based Smurfit-Stone, “there’s an easy template for them to succeed,” Schoenfeld said today at the Bloomberg Hedge Funds conference in New York.

New directors “with an open mind” and the creation of an unstaggered board, where all members can be voted out at the same time, should facilitate a takeover if an acquirer is interested, said Schoenfeld, who also cited the lack of a “poison-pill” provision in the company’s bylaws.

P. Schoenfeld Asset Management is Smurfit’s 13th-largest shareholder, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Schoenfeld set up his New York-based merger arbitrage firm in 1997 with a focus on corporate event-driven investments, including targets of acquisitions. He oversees about $2 billion, according to the firm.

Smurfit rose 80 cents, or 3.3 percent, to $25.05 at 2:18 p.m. in New York Stock Exchange composite trading. The shares have gained 14 percent since closing at $22 on July 1, their first day of trading after bankruptcy.

To contact the reporter on this story: Alex Sherman in New York at asherman6@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Jennifer Sondag at jsondag@bloomberg.net

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