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DS Smith History

Our story can be traced back to the box making business, established in London in the 1940’s by the Smith family.

Since then, the business has grown through a series of acquisitions, including St Regis, Kaysersberg and, more recently, SCA Packaging in 2012. The business was listed on the London Stock Exchange in the late 1950’s.

Early Years

Our business began as David S. Smith Ltd, which was incorporated in the 1940’s, established by two cousins, David G and David S Smith. The Smith family had been in the box-making business since the early part of the 20th century, with the original business established in London by their grandfather, also named David Smith, himself a Polish immigrant.

The business was listed on the London Stock Exchange in the late 1950’s.

1980s

The Group grew rapidly during the 1980s with the acquisitions of St Regis Paper Company in 1986 for £83 million and Kemsley Paper Mill in 1988 for £11 million. The initial development into plastic packaging occurred with the purchases of Corrugated Products for £12 million and Waddington & Duval for £2 million.

1990s

Growth continued during the 1990s through a combination of internal investment and external acquisition. DS Smith's largest paper mill, Kemsley, was upgraded between 1993 and 1996 at a cost of £110 million. In 1991, Kaysersberg Packaging was bought in a deal worth £170 million which expanded the product portfolio and provided a presence in mainland Europe for the first time. The company then acquired Spicers in 1993 and John Dickinson in 1996, before investing in a new conventional corrugated plant at Fordham, UK (1998).

Noughties

In 2001, a name change from David S. Smith (Holdings) PLC to DS Smith Plc occured. Also that year, a number of UK corrugated packaging operations, previously owned by Danisco, were acquired for £21 million. The acquisition of Linpac Containers in March 2004 for £167 million made DS Smith the UK's largest producer of corrugated packaging. Severnside Recycling was enlarged in 2004 through the acquisition of BPB Recycling and, in 2008, the company acquired New Thames Paper Mill.

In Italy, a second corrugated packaging factory at Lari was opened during 2002. The Polish corrugated factory at Kielce was modernised and a new second factory at Kutno was opened in 2005.

DS Smith's position in liquid packaging and dispensing was built through the acquisitions of Packaging Systems LLC (trading under the name Rapak) in 2000 for £17 million and Zewathener GmbH for £17.5 million in 2002.

2010-Present

In September 2010 DS Smith acquired Otor, a French corrugated packaging business, providing DS Smith Packaging France with a leading position in corrugated packaging for consumer goods. In December 2011 DS Smith sold Spicers to Unipapel SA. In January 2012 DS Smith announced the proposed acquisition of SCA Packaging, accompanied by an equity issue. On 30 June 2012 SCA Packaging became part of the DS Smith Group.

In 2015/16, DS Smith made five acquisitions: Duropack (South Eastern Europe), Lantero (Spain), Cartonpack(Greece), Milas Ambalaj (Turkey) and TRM (UK), bringing the number of countries worldwide to 36.

In 2016/17, DS Smith continue its growth and acquired Creo (UK), Deku-Pack (Denmark), Gopaca (Portugal), P&I Displays and Packaging (Portugal), DPF Groupe (France). Total number of countries is 37.