Verso inches closer on acquisition offer

The Wis-based company agreed to continue exchanging information

MADISON, Wis. -- Verso Corporation took a small step toward negotiations with Atlas Holdings, which had offered to acquire the company for $20 per share (or about $600 million). Verso announced on September 21 a confidentiality agreement with Atlas, a large private equity fund that owns other pulp and paper companies.

Verso announced that a committee of its board had communicated to Atlas its decision that Atlas’ $20.00 per share all-cash offer to acquire Verso was “insufficient”, but that it would consider an offer that was “meaningfully increased” from $20.

“The two parties agreed to exchange additional information under the terms of the agreement to facilitate ongoing discussions regarding a potential transaction with Atlas on mutually acceptable terms,” Verso announced.

Atlas has acquired a number of other paper manufacturers including LSC Communications, Two Rivers Paper, Marcal and Millar Western.

The Atlas offer has held up efforts by a cooperative of Wisconsin-based forest products businesses to negotiate a purchase of the shuttered Verso Corporations mill operation in Wisconsin Rapids which makes pulp and graphic printing paper.

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