WISCONSIN RAPIDS, WI (OnFocus) – The Verso paper mill in Wisconsin Rapids will be under new ownership in 2022 after the company entered into a definitive merger agreement with Swedish Packaging Corporation, BillerudKorsnäs.
The deal states that BillerudKorsnäs will acquire all of the outstanding shares of Verso for approximately $825 million.
According to reports, the acquisition of Verso is fully in line with BillerudKorsnäs’ strategy to drive profitable growth in paperboard, and the ambition to expand into North America. BillerudKorsnäs aims to build one of the most cost-efficient and sustainable paperboard platforms in North America by converting several of Verso’s assets into paperboard machines while maintaining Verso’s position as a quality and cost leader in specialty and coated freesheet paper.
According to a press release from the Verso Corporation, Christoph Michalski, President and CEO of BillerudKorsnäs, said the acquisition will help the company create U.S.-based jobs.
“The combination of BillerudKorsnäs’ expertise in high-quality virgin fiber packaging materials and Verso’s attractive assets creates an excellent platform for long-term profitable growth,” Michalski said. “We will obtain cost-effective production of coated virgin fiber material in the Midwestern United States. We also plan to sequentially transform part of the business into paperboard production while continuing to serve the U.S. customers. Our investments will create new U.S.-based jobs in a growing market and accelerate the transition from plastic-based packaging materials to renewable sources.”
Randy Nebel, President and CEO of Verso Corporation said selling the company to a good partner was of the utmost importance.
“In BillerudKorsnäs, we found a partner that shares our commitments to safety, quality, sustainability and innovation and is uniquely positioned to recognize the value of our business,” Nebel said.
The Verso Paper Mill in Wisconsin Rapids closed in June of 2020 and nearly 1,000 employees lost their jobs. In June 2021, the mill was struck by lightening and was damaged however Verso said it did not expect the damage to hinder the ability to sell the company.
According to Verso, the transaction is expected to close during the second quarter of 2022, subject to the approval of Verso’s shareholders, as well as receipt of regulatory approvals and satisfaction of other closing conditions.
We welcome your stories! Contact us at [email protected]!