Verso drops possible merger with NewPage

The Verso mill in Bucksport.
Gabor Degre | BDN
The Verso mill in Bucksport. Buy Photo
By Donna M. Perry, Sun Journal
Posted Sept. 06, 2012, at 6:47 a.m.

JAY, Maine — Verso Paper Corp. announced Wednesday that it has ceased further discussions with NewPage Corp. or its creditors regarding a potential merger, according to a press release on its website.

Earlier this year, Verso announced it was looking to merge with the Ohio-based corporation, which operates a mill in Rumford.

“After careful analysis, we believe it is in the best interests of our company and its stakeholders to focus on the many other opportunities for Verso, including internal growth projects and other potential strategic alternatives,” Verso President and CEO David Paterson said in a statement from its Tennessee-based headquarters.

NewPage Corp. announced in July that it did not intend to merge, nor did it anticipate further discussion about the proposal with Verso.

In July, Verso reported having discussions with certain holders of NewPage’s 11.375 percent first-lien senior secured notes. Under the terms of Verso’s proposed deal, the holders of the notes would get $1.08 billion of new Verso notes, $150 million of new Verso stock and $200 million in cash.

Verso operates mills in Jay and Bucksport, and Quinnesec, Mich. It is a leading North American producer of coated papers, including coated ground wood and coated freesheet and specialty projects.

NewPage Corp. operates seven mills throughout the United States, including one in Rumford.

NewPage filed for bankruptcy in September 2011. It announced last month that it filed a Chapter 11 restructuring plan with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware.

The company is North America’s largest manufacturer of coated paper, employs about 750 people at the Rumford mill and pays 46 percent of the town’s property taxes.

Verso employs about 1,600 people at its Maine mills.

http://bangordailynews.com/2012/09/06/business/verso-drops-possible-merger-with-newpage/ printed on April 24, 2014