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International Paper, Suzano pour cold water on report of $15 billion merger deal

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (From news reports) -- IP shares dip 1% in premarket trades after the company says it's focused on buying DS Smith and would not comment on 'speculation'

International Paper Co.'s stock dipped 1.6% in premarket trades on Wednesday after it declined to comment on a report that it's been approached by Brazil's Suzano S/A with an offer to buy the company for about $15 billion.

International Paper (IP) said it "offers no comment on speculation contained in media reports" and that it remains focused on its plan to buy U.K. company DS Smith Plc (DITHF) for $7.2 billion.

Suzano (SUZ) also poured cold water on the report of a verbal offer to buy International Paper.

"There is no formal document or celebration of any agreement, binding or otherwise, by Suzano, nor any decision or resolution of its management bodies regarding the potential operation reported by the media," the company said in a filing.

Citing people familiar with the deal, Reuters reported Tuesday that Suzano was interested in acquiring the Memphis paper conglomerate for $42 a share, a premium of about 14% over its closing price of $36.92 on Monday.

The news sent International Paper's stock up about 5.2% by the closing bell on Tuesday, while U.S.-listed share of Suzano fell 11.5%.

Suzano's stock was up by about 4% in premarket trades on Wednesday.

If any such deal emerged formally, it could disrupt International Paper's pending acquisition of U.K. company DS Smith Plc (DITHF) for $7.2 billion. IP outbid rival Monty Plc (MONDY) for the deal.

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