Verso Corporation recently announced that the bankruptcy court presiding over Verso's Chapter 11 bankruptcy proceeding authorized Verso to reject a specialty paper supply contract with Expera Specialty Solutions. The contract with Expera, which was an element of the sale by International Paper Company of its industrial papers business to Thilmany, LLC in 2005, had a 12-year term expiring in 2017. The contract required Verso, as the assignee of International Paper, to manufacture specialty paper on the A5 paper machine at its Androscoggin mill in Jay, Maine, for sale to Expera, as the successor to Thilmany, at a price essentially equivalent to Verso's cost of producing the paper. By virtue of the bankruptcy court's order, the Expera contract now is rejected, which is essentially a termination of the contract that is authorized by federal bankruptcy law.
Moving forward from the rejection of the Expera contract, Verso intends to continue producing for its own account a portfolio of proven lightweight machine glazed papers for release liner, oil and grease resistant and flexible packaging applications. Verso intends to begin accepting and fulfilling customers' orders for these products starting today. Verso's goal is to ensure that customers continue to receive uninterrupted access to the specialty paper produced on the A5 paper machine.
"The capabilities of the A5 paper machine make it a natural fit in Verso's manufacturing network and existing specialty papers portfolio," stated Mike Weinhold, Verso's Senior Vice President of Sales, Marketing and Product Development. "Although, for the past 11 years, Verso's name has not been directly associated with the products made on the A5 paper machine, Verso has operated the machine and has ensured that the paper produced on it maintains a reputation for high quality and consistent performance. Verso's expertise in and commitment to the specialty papers market will allow us to seamlessly return the A5 paper machine to our flexible manufacturing network and to derive considerable benefits for Verso, the Androscoggin mill, our specialty papers customers, and other stakeholders."
Verso is the leading North American producer of printing and specialty papers and pulp.