US paper packaging firm International Paper has said it was disappointed it has not been able to engage with Smurfit Kappa since its Irish rival rejected a raised bid worth €8.9 billion last month. 

"We have a compelling proposal on the table and we're disappointed we haven't been able to engage with Smurfit Kappa," International Paper's chairman and CEO Mark Sutton said. 

"There is a process that we are in right now and we will continue to look at our options and I'm not at liberty to say what the next decision is," he added.

Earlier this year, the US-based company had proposed a deal to acquire Smurfit Kappa, saying the transaction would be an "excellent strategic fit" for both companies. 

But Smurfit Kappa rejected what it described as a "fundamentally opportunistic" unsolicited proposal from the US company.

Smurfit Kappa, Europe's largest producer of paper-based packaging, said the proposal failed "entirely to reflect the group's strong growth prospects and attractive industry outlook".

International Paper said it did not agree with the characterisation that its proposal was opportunistic.

It said the enlarged group would constitute "a premier global packaging company" that would be able to serve both local and global customers more effectively.