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Planned NewPage-Verso merger in trouble

MIAMISBURG, OHIO (WSAU) -- The planned merger of two paper companies may not happen after all.

NewPage Holdings, Inc. which operates mills in Stevens Point, Wisconsin Rapids, and Biron had earlier agreed to sell to Verso Paper Corporation of Tennessee. The deal may fall apart because Verso Paper is seeking a waiver to parts of the merger agreement related to what’s called the Exchange Offer Condition, and NewPage Holdings is not willing to grant that waiver.

NewPage Board Chairman Mark Angelson sent a letter to Verso executives making it clear they are not inclined to grant the waiver or offer any flexibility on debt reduction in the deal.

Just last month, Verso and NewPage announced the planned 1.4 billion dollar merger. NewPage appears ready to walk away from the deal if Verso can’t or won’t meet the previously agreed upon conditions.