Paperboard firm Powerflute says to be bought for $354 mln

HELSINKI (Reuters) - Finnish paperboard company Powerflute Oyj POWR.L recommended cash offer from private equity firm Madison Dearborn Partners LLC for 268 million pounds ($354 million), it said on Thursday.

Powerflute, founded by Dermot Smurfit from the family behind Ireland's packaging group Smurfit Kappa SKG.I, last year had sales of 357 million euros ($401 million) and core earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization of 55 million euros.

Smurfit and other biggest owners are backing the offer.

The 90 pence per share offer had a premium of around 22 percent to the stock’s closing price on Wednesday. Shares in Powerflute, listed in London’s AIM market for small companies, were up 20.4 percent at 88.61 pence by 0829.

($1 = 0.7573 pounds)

($1 = 0.8905 euros)

Reporting by Jussi Rosendahl; editing by Susan Thomas