BillerudKorsnäs has confirmed the completion of its acquisition of Verso for a purchase price of approximately $825m in cash. Verso is a leading producer of coated paper in North America, with 2021 net sales of $1,278m and adjusted EBITDA of $223m.
The acquisition of Verso reinforces BillerudKorsnäs’ strategy to drive profitable and sustainable growth and its ambition to accelerate its growth in North America. As a result of the acquisition of Verso, BillerudKorsnäs is now one of the largest providers of virgin paper and packaging materials with a cost and quality advantage. Combined 2021 net sales for BillerudKorsnäs and Verso amounted to approximately SEK 37.2 bn.
BillerudKorsnäs is committed to continuing to serve Verso’s customers across all segments and realising its previously announced plans to convert several of Verso’s assets into paperboard machines, while maintaining Verso’s position as a quality and cost leader in speciality and coated paper. Effective 1 April 2022, Rob Kreizenbeck, Verso’s SVP of Operations, assumes the position of President, North America in BillerudKorsnäs’ Executive Management Team. Going forward, BillerudKorsnäs intends to simplify its company name and brand to Billerud, which it will operate under in all markets, including the U.S. The Board of Directors will propose at the 2022 Annual General Meeting to amend the company’s name to Billerud AB (publ), and the change will be successively implemented thereafter.
“I am glad to welcome the entire Verso team to BillerudKorsnäs. Our combined assets and expertise in high-quality virgin fibre paper and board packaging materials create an excellent platform for sustainable and profitable growth. Integration work starts immediately, and we look forward to working together, sharing knowledge, initiating preparations for the conversion project and realizing a successful development,” comments Christoph Michalski, President and CEO, BillerudKorsnäs.
“We are excited to join forces with BillerudKorsnäs and become a larger, stronger organization. Together, we are building a company that is passionately committed to a strong safety culture, sustainability, superior quality and delivering value to our customers,” says Kreizenbeck.