PORTLAND, Maine — A month after its unveiling, Jay mill owner Verso Corp. has chosen to change the name of the line of food packaging paper made on its No. 5 paper machine, which it reclaimed from competitor Expera Specialty Solutions.
A Delaware bankruptcy judge earlier this month approved Verso’s motion to reject an unprofitable contract with Expera, freeing Verso to sell the product from its Jay mill’s No. 5 paper machine itself.
Shortly after, Verso announced its product would sell under the name GlazeGuard, prompting Expera to sue for trademark infringement. Expera’s product, made on the same machine, had sold under its registered trademark name “Grease-Gard.”
Verso last week asked the bankruptcy court to approve a settlement of that lawsuit, for which it would change the name of that product line to include its “GlazeWrap,” “GlazeTape” and “GlazeBag.” Those products are for food packaging and medical applications.
Verso said in court filings that it “ha[s] only invested minimal resources in marketing” into the new product and that the name change would be “straightforward and inexpensive.”
Verso said the contract with Expera, due to expire in 2017, covered only the costs of production. Approval of the settlement is scheduled for mid-July, before the company expects to complete its restructuring under Chapter 11 of the bankruptcy code.
A judge last week approved confirmation of its reorganization plan, through which about $2.4 billion in debt will be converted into equity in the new company. Verso said in a news release that it expects to exit with $595 million in financing to support operations and capital investments.
CEO David Paterson said in a news release that he expects new investments will “help mitigate the continuing decline in the demand for coated paper products, to explore strategic opportunities that enable profitable growth, and to create value for all of our stakeholders.”
The bankruptcy has meant other changes for the Jay mill, where Verso in January sold four related hydropower plants.
The company said the reorganization plan means no material changes to its wages and salaries, benefits or union contracts. The mill employs about 560 people, after a round of about 300 layoffs late last year.