Verso Corporation announced today that it has submitted to the New York Stock Exchange a business plan to demonstrate Verso's ability to achieve compliance with the NYSE's continued listing standard requiring that Verso's average market capitalization be at least $50 million over a period of 30 consecutive trading days.
As previously disclosed, on August 13, 2015, the NYSE notified Verso that it had fallen below the NYSE's average market capitalization continued listing standard. Under the NYSE's rules, Verso is allowed to submit to the NYSE a plan to demonstrate Verso's ability to achieve compliance with the average market capitalization standard within 18 months after the notification date, i.e., by February 13, 2017. Verso submitted its listing compliance plan to the NYSE earlier this morning.
Verso's plan sets forth a series of discrete, strategic actions that are designed to increase its earnings, improve its liquidity, and enhance its ability to meet its debt service obligations. These actions, which Verso already has begun implementing, consist of --
- • the continued successful integration of NewPage Holdings Inc., which Verso acquired in January 2015, and the planned realization of an expected $175 million of synergies to be derived from the NewPage acquisition;
- • the taking of market-related downtime across Verso's mill system as needed to maintain product inventories at desired levels;
- • production capacity reductions through the previously announced downsizing and optimization of the Androscoggin mill and the indefinite idling of the Wickliffe mill;
- • potential sales of certain noncore assets; and
- • potential new financing.
The NYSE has 45 days in which to evaluate Verso's listing compliance plan and determine whether Verso has made a reasonable demonstration of its ability to achieve compliance with the average market capitalization continued listing standard within the 18-month plan period. The NYSE either will accept the plan, at which time Verso will be subject to quarterly monitoring for compliance with the plan, or it will not accept the plan, in which case Verso will be subject to suspension by the NYSE and delisting by the Securities and Exchange Commission.
In the meantime, Verso's common stock will continue to be traded on the NYSE, subject to Verso's compliance with other NYSE continued listing requirements. In this regard, under its "abnormally low" trading price continued listing standard, the NYSE could move immediately to commence the suspension and delisting of Verso's common stock in the event that its trading price declines to $0.15 per share or below. In addition, and as previously disclosed, on June 24, 2015, the NYSE notified Verso that it had fallen below the NYSE's continued listing standard requiring that the average share price of Verso's common stock be at least $1.00 over a consecutive 30-trading-day period. To avoid suspension and delisting under this standard, Verso must bring the share price and the average share price of its common stock back to at least $1.00 within six months after the notification date, i.e., by December 24, 2015, subject to the extension of such deadline in the event that Verso undertakes to conduct a reverse stock split following its next annual stockholders meeting to be held in May 2016.
Verso Corporation is the turn-to company for those looking to successfully navigate the complexities of paper sourcing and performance. The leading North American producer of printing and specialty papers and pulp, Verso provides insightful solutions that help drive improved customer efficiency, productivity, brand awareness and business results. Verso's long-standing reputation for quality and reliability is directly tied to our vision to be a company with passion that is respected and trusted by all. Verso's passion is rooted in ethical business practices that demand safe workplaces for our employees and sustainable wood sourcing for our products. This passion, combined with our flexible manufacturing capabilities and an unmatched commitment to product performance, delivery and service, make Verso a preferred choice among commercial printers, paper merchants and brokers, converters, publishers and other end users. For more information, visit us online at versoco.com.
In this press release, all statements that are not purely historical facts are forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933 and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. Forward-looking statements may be identified by the words "believe," "expect," "anticipate," "project," "plan," "estimate," "intend," "potential" and other similar expressions. Forward-looking statements are based on currently available business, economic, financial and other information and reflect management's current beliefs, expectations and views with respect to future developments and their potential effects on Verso. Actual results could vary materially depending on risks and uncertainties that may affect Verso and its business. For a discussion of such risks and uncertainties, please refer to Verso's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Verso assumes no obligation to update any forward-looking statement made in this press release to reflect subsequent events or circumstances or actual outcomes.
Vice President, Communications and Public Affairs