(Alliance News) - DS Smith PLC on Thursday said that an extension had been agreed for its potential takeover by Mondi PLC, though the company still holds a more lucrative offer from International Paper.

DS Smith and Mondi are packaging businesses based in London and Weybridge, respectively.

In early March, DS Smith and Mondi agreed to an in principal takeover deal, which valued DS Smith shares at 373 pence each.

Mondi had until Thursday to either make or announce its intention to make a firm offer for the company.

On Thursday morning, DS Smith requested that the deadline be extended to April 23. The UK Panel on Takeovers and Mergers has consented to the extension.

However, DS Smith added that there is no certainty that a firm offer will be made by Mondi.

Last week Tuesday, DS Smith confirmed that it was also in takeover discussions with International Paper, a Tennessee-based pulp and paper supplier.

International Paper's proposal offered 0.128 of its own shares for every share in DS Smith, valuing the company's shares at around 415p each, based on International Paper's closing price the day before the offer.

Shares in DS Smith were down 0.1% at 402.20 pence each in London on Thursday morning.

Shares in Mondi were down 2.6% at 1,338.00 pence in London, and down marginally at ZAR315.14 per share in Johannesburg.

By Hugh Cameron, Alliance News reporter

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