GREENWICH, Conn. and NEW YORK (News release) -- Atlas Holdings LLC ("Atlas") and Blue Wolf Capital Advisors IV, LLC ("Blue Wolf") today issued the following letter to the Board of Directors of Verso Corporation (NYSE: VRS):
December 3, 2019
Board of Directors of Verso Corporation
8450 Gander Creek Drive
Miamisburg, Ohio 45342
Lady and Gentlemen:
On behalf of Lapetus Capital II LLC ("Lapetus", and together with its affiliates, "Atlas") and BW Coated LLC ("BW Coated" and together with its affiliates, "Blue Wolf"), we are writing in reaction to your recent earnings release, your announcement to sell the Stevens Point and Androscoggin mills (collectively the "Specialty Mills") and your announcement regarding your annual meeting to be held on January 21, 2020. Atlas currently owns 2,330,683 shares of common stock of Verso Corporation ("Verso" or the "Company"), representing approximately 6.72% of the outstanding shares. BW Coated owns 776,890 shares of common stock of the Company, representing approximately 2.24% of the outstanding shares. Together, we own 3,107,573 shares (or approximately 8.96% of the outstanding shares) and, as such, we are, collectively, among the largest stockholders of the Company.
Background on Atlas and Blue Wolf
Atlas Holdings LLC (www.atlasholdingsllc.com) is an industrial holding company that owns 20 companies that operate approximately 150 facilities globally, generate revenues of approximately $5 billion annually and employ more than 18,000 people. Atlas is engaged in a variety of industrial sectors and has been successfully investing in the pulp, paper and packaging industries since our formation in 1999, including specifically in the subsectors in which Verso participates - specialty paper, graphic paper, packaging paper and pulp. Atlas invests in underperforming and challenged businesses and we unlock the full potential of our companies by patiently applying our industry expertise and operating system over the long-term. Our operating system drives performance excellence by:
- empowering our associates and aligning our interests with them;
- focusing on industrial safety and hygiene and continuous improvement;
- investing in high return capital projects and avoiding non-productive capital projects;
- engaging constructively with all stakeholders, including the communities in which we operate and the unions that represent our associates; and
- communicating transparently with all constituents who are stakeholders in our businesses.
Atlas has a total of approximately $3.0 billion of committed capital under management, including $1.7 billion in its third investment fund.
Blue Wolf Capital Partners LLC (www.bluewolfcapital.com) is a middle market private equity firm whose partners have decades of experience investing in and growing companies. Leading by experience, and with a commitment to excellence, Blue Wolf transforms companies strategically, operationally and collaboratively. Blue Wolf manages challenging situations and complex relationships between business, customers, employees, unions, and regulators to build value for stakeholders. For over a decade Blue Wolf has been an active investor in pulp, paper and forest products companies with a highly successful track record. Headquartered in New York City, Blue Wolf has over $1.6 billion in committed capital and has substantial liquidity through its current $540 million investment fund, Blue Wolf Capital Fund IV, L.P.
Together, Atlas and Blue Wolf have been owners of, and instrumental in the management of numerous companies in the paper, pulp and packaging industries. Atlas and Blue Wolf successfully invested in and "turned-around" Northern Resources Nova Scotia Corporation, a softwood kraft pulp mill, Finch Paper, an integrated pulp and graphic paper mill, and Twin Rivers Paper Company, a specialty paper, graphic paper and kraft paper manufacturer. In each case, under our ownership we have significantly improved financial and operating performance. Atlas and Blue Wolf successfully exited their investment in Northern Resources and continue to own and operate Finch Paper and Twin Rivers, both of which have grown materially through well-priced and synergistic acquisitions.
In addition, for 17 years, Atlas successfully owned and operated Forest Resources, a diversified packaging manufacturer that produced corrugating medium, corrugated boxes, clay coated recycled boxboard and folding cartons. Atlas currently also owns Iconex, a leading provider of receipt, label, imaging and other products for businesses globally and Millar Western, an integrated forest products company that produces and markets softwood and hardwood pulp and softwood lumber.
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