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Byline: Padraic Cassidy in New York and Siobhan Almond in Dublin
As rumors go, the talk of an International Paper Co. and Stora Enso Oyj merger was a whopper. Fanned by an Aug. 22 story in a Swedish business newspaper, the reaction on both sides of the Atlantic to the suggested megamerger of the top U.S. and European paper giants ranged from disbelief to scorn.
"It's a sign of how desperate people are in front of the impending collapse" in the paper market, said Henry Poole, an analyst at Credit Lyonnais Securities in London. "It's defensive and value destroying."
The idea of such a huge tie-up also left observers puzzled about how either IP or …