May 16, 2020

WestRock to acquire KapStone Paper

Kapstone Paper and Packaging
Sophie Chapman
1 min
WestRock offers KapStone shareholders $35 per share
The US packaging firm, WestRock, has announced that it will be purchasing its rival, KapStone Paper and Packaging Corp.

The deal has been valued at US...

The US packaging firm, WestRock, has announced that it will be purchasing its rival, KapStone Paper and Packaging Corp.

The deal has been valued at US$4.9bn, with WestRock paying approximately $3.5bn for the firm.

KapStone has a net debt of about $1.36bn, which would have been included in the deal.

WestRock offered shareholders a cash sum of $35 per share, or 0.4981 in WestRock shares.


Subsequent to the offer, WestRock saw their shares plummet 2.8% to $68.31, with KapStone’s rising by 30% to $34.48.

“This is one of the last opportunities to consolidate in an industry that’s already becoming very well-structured,” stated Steven Chercover, Analyst at D.A. Davidson & Co, according to Reuters.

WestRock is considered to be the second largest packaging firm, following International Paper.

The firm acquired Multi Packaging Solutions International Ltd in 2017, and focused solely on it’s paper and packaging division, dissolving the company’s other branches in soap dispenser and perfume sprayers.

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Jun 16, 2021 x BSH: Voice Automating the Assembly Line

2 min and BSH announce plans to bring speech-to-intent AI to the assembly line that will increase factory efficiency and improve worker ergonomics has deployed its voice recognition solutions in one of BSH’s German factories. BSH leads the market in producing connected appliances—its brands include Bosch, Siemens, Gaggenau, NEFF, and Thermador, and with this new partnership, the company intends to cut transition time in its assembly lines. 


According to BSH, voice automation will yield 75-100% efficiency gains—but it’s the collaboration between the two companies that stands out. ‘After considering 11 companies for this partnership, we chose because of their key competitive differentiators’, explained Ion Hauer, Venture Partner at BSH Startup Kitchen.


What Sets Apart? 

After seven years of research, the company developed a wide range of artificial intelligence (AI) software products to help original equipment manufacturers (OEM) expand their services. Three key aspects stood out to BSH, which operates across the world and in unique factory environments.  


  • Robust noise controls. The system can operate even in loud conditions. 
  • Low latency. The AI understands commands quickly and accurately. 
  • Multilingual support. BSH can expand the automation to any of its 50+ country operations. 


How Voice Automation Works

Instead of pressing buttons, BSH factory workers will now be able to speak into a headset fitted with’s voice recognition technology. After uttering a WakeWord, workers can use a command to start assembly line movement. As the technology is hands-free, workers benefit from less physical strain, which will both reduce employee fatigue and boost line production. 


‘Implementing Fluent’s technology has already improved efficiencies within our factory, with initial implementation of the solution cutting down the transition time from four seconds to one and a half”, said Markus Maier, Project Lead at the BSH factory. ‘In the long run, the production time savings will be invaluable’. 


Future Global Adoption 

In the coming years, BSH and will continue to push for artificial intelligence on factory lines, pursuing efficiency, ergonomics, and a healthy work environment. ‘We started with on one factory assembly line, moved to three, and [are now] considering rolling the technology out worldwide’, said Maier. 


Said Probal Lala,’s CEO: ‘We are thrilled to be working with BSH, a company at the forefront of innovation. Seeing your solution out in the real world is incredibly rewarding, and we look forward to continuing and growing our collaboration’. 



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