Memphis, Tennessee, USA, 22 December 2008 – Verso Paper Corp. (NYSE:VRS) announced today that it intends to take approximately 100,000 tons of downtime related to coated groundwood production during the first half of 2009. The facilities where the downtime will be taken and the timing of the downtime will be determined as the first half of 2009 progresses. Approximately 85,000 tons of the downtime will be in response to market conditions in the coated paper industry, with the balance being related to planned maintenance outages. Verso’s coated groundwood paper is used in leading catalogs and magazines.
“As we have demonstrated throughout 2008, we remain committed to running our manufacturing operations in a manner that attempts to achieve a balance between our supply of paper and the demand for paper by our customers. Based on what we currently see relative to coated groundwood demand and inventory levels, this additional downtime is necessary to help us maintain that balance,” said Mike Jackson, Verso president and CEO. “We believe that the downtime will not have any impact on Verso’s ability to supply coated groundwood paper to our customers, as we have ample production flexibility to meet changing demand.”
Based in Memphis, Tennessee, Verso Paper Corp. is a leading North American producer of coated papers, including coated groundwood and coated freesheet, and supercalendered and specialty products. Verso’s paper products are used primarily in media and marketing applications, including magazines, catalogs, and commercial printing applications such as high-end advertising brochures, annual reports, and direct-mail advertising. Additional information about Verso is available at www.versopaper.com.