Verso Corp.’s stock was trading once again Tuesday on the New York Stock Exchange following the paper company’s emergence from bankruptcy.

While the stock was officially relisted on Monday, it did not begin trading until Tuesday. The stock opened at $12.23 a share, and its value rose briefly as high as $13.59 before settling to around $12 for most of the day. It ended the day at $12 a share, down about 1.9 percent from the opening price. During the day’s trading, 47,769 Verso shares changed hands.

Overall, the company’s first day back on a major stock exchange was fairly lackluster with little movement in its share price and only a small percentage of shares traded, said Brad McCurtain, president of Maine Securities Corp. in Portland.

“I think it was kind of a forgettable situation,” McCurtain said.

The Memphis-based papermaker, which emerged from Chapter 11 bankruptcy on Friday, had been delisted from the exchange in September after its stock price fell far below the required $1 average over a 30-day trading period. The stock was moved to the Over the Counter Bulletin Board exchange, where its price fluctuated between 1 and 16 cents a share prior to the company’s Jan. 26 bankruptcy filing.

Verso, which employs more than 560 workers at its Androscoggin mill in Jay, filed for bankruptcy in Delaware to restructure $2.4 billion of debt. Verso is headquartered in Tennessee but incorporated in Delaware.


On Friday, the company filed documents with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission to implement its court-approved bankruptcy reorganization plan and issue 34.4 million shares of new stock. The new shares were issued to certain major creditors in the bankruptcy in lieu of debt repayment. Previous shareholders lost all of their shares when the company declared bankruptcy.

Based on the stock’s closing price, Verso’s new market capitalization was $412.8 million as of late Tuesday.

In the bankruptcy filing, two Maine companies were listed among Verso’s 30 largest creditors. Catalyst Paper Operations Inc. of Rumford was owed $2.2 million and Hartt Transportation Systems Inc. of Bangor was owed $1.2 million. The master list of creditors filed by Verso included the names of 30,785 businesses and individuals to whom the company owed money.

Hartt Chief Financial Officer Joanna Bradeen said her company was not among those that received Verso stock. Instead, Hartt received a portion of what it was owed in cash. The creditors that received Verso stock were primarily larger institutions to which Verso had long-term debt obligations, she said.

Most of the company’s unsecured creditors received about 25 percent of what they were owed, Bradeen said, adding that Hartt did considerably better than that.

“Every unsecured creditor got something,” she said.


McCurtain, the financial adviser, said it is likely that some former creditors who now own Verso stock will move to unload it quickly, while others may hang onto their shares to see how the company performs in its new, scaled-down iteration.

He said most typical investors probably don’t know enough about Verso at this point to be interested in buying the company’s stock.

“It wasn’t followed very heavily before the bankruptcy,” McCurtain said.

Verso had struggled financially in the years leading up to the bankruptcy. It sold off its unprofitable Bucksport mill in 2014, eliminating 500 jobs. The move was part of a complicated $1.4 billion deal that involved the acquisition and then sale of the former NewPage mill in Rumford in January of 2015. That mill is now owned by Canada-based Catalyst Paper.

At the conclusion of the NewPage deal, Verso had about $3.5 billion in annual sales and about 5,800 employees in eight mills across six states. In its bankruptcy filing, the company reported gross revenues of about $2.4 billion for the first three quarters of 2015.


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