BillerudKorsnäs’ $825 Million Merger Agreement With Verso Corporation

Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom served as U.S. legal counsel and Cederquist served as Swedish legal counsel to BillerudKorsnäs. Kirkland & Ellis served as legal counsel to Verso.

BillerudKorsnäs announced a merger agreement with Verso Corporation (Verso) under which BillerudKorsnäs has agreed to acquire Verso, a leading producer of coated papers in North America, for a purchase price of approximately USD 825 million in cash. Verso’s Board of Directors, acting upon the recommendation of a special committee, has unanimously approved, and resolved to recommend the transaction to Verso’s shareholders. The transaction is expected to close in the second quarter of 2022. 

Verso Corporation (Verso) is a leading American producer of graphic, specialty and packaging paper and market pulp, with a long-standing reputation for quality and reliability. Verso is headquartered in Miamisburg, Ohio, and have two paper mills in Michigan, a roll to sheet converting facility in Wisconsin (paper production idled), and two distribution centres in Sauk Village, Illinois and Bedford, Pennsylvania. For the twelve months ended 30 September 2021, Verso’s net sales amounted to USD 1 264 million. Verso is listed on the New York Stock Exchange.

BillerudKorsnäs is a leading provider of packaging materials and solutions that challenge conventional packaging for a sustainable future. Established in 2012, through the merger of Billerud and Korsnäs, they pride theirselves with experience building on more than 150 years in the forestry and paper industry.

BofA Securities serves as exclusive financial advisor. 

The Skadden team included M&A partner Jeffrey Brill (Picture), and associates Sarah Wolpert, Michael Comizio and Jaclyn Castelar; Corporate partner Denis Klimentchenko (London); Banking partner Pete Coulton (London); Tax partner David Rievman; Executive Compensation and Benefits partner Erica Schohn and counsel Timothy F. Nelson (Boston); Antitrust/Competition partner Kenneth Schwartz; Environmental counsel Elizabeth Malone (Washington, D.C.); and Energy Regulatory counsel Raunaq (Niqui) Kohli. All attorneys are located in New York unless otherwise noted.

Kirkland & Ellis advised the Special Committee of the Board of Directors of Verso Corporation with Steven Li, Jonathan Davis and Daniel Wolf and associates Shachar Nir and Arjun Karthikeyan, executive compensation partner Kate Coverdale and associate Katherine Nemeth, and environmental transactions partner Sara Webber. 

Cederquist’s team mainly comprised Wilhelm Lüning, Fredrik Lundén, Matilda Larsson and Filip Gyulai (Equity Capital Markets and Public M&A), Per Henriksson, Mirja Sikander and Emil Svensson (Financing), Fredrik Lindblom and Sanna Widén (Competition).

Involved fees earner: Filip Gyulai – Cederquist KB; Per Henriksson – Cederquist KB; Matilda Larsson – Cederquist KB; Fredrik Lindblom – Cederquist KB; Fredrik Lundén – Cederquist KB; Wilhelm Lüning – Cederquist KB; Mirja Sikander – Cederquist KB; Emil Svensson – Cederquist KB; Sanna Widén – Cederquist KB; Katherine Coverdale – Kirkland & Ellis; Jonathan Davis – Kirkland & Ellis; Arjun Karthikeyan – Kirkland & Ellis; Steven Li – Kirkland & Ellis; Sara Michaelchuck Webber – Kirkland & Ellis; Katherine Nemeth – Kirkland & Ellis; Shachar Nir – Kirkland & Ellis; Daniel Wolf – Kirkland & Ellis; Jeffrey Brill – Skadden; Jaclyn Castelar – Skadden; Michael Comizio – Skadden; Pete Coulton – Skadden; Denis Klimentchenko – Skadden; Raunaq Kohli – Skadden; Elizabeth Malone – Skadden; Timothy Nelson – Skadden; David Rievman – Skadden; Erica Schohn – Skadden; Kenneth Schwartz – Skadden; Sarah Wolpert – Skadden;

Law Firms: Cederquist KB; Kirkland & Ellis; Skadden;

Clients: BillerudKorsnäs AB; Verso Corporation;