Picture a zoo devoid of walls between the predators and the prey and you’ll have a pretty good handle on what the paper industry has become in the last few years. Most realize that the market is troubled at best, but that doesn’t lessen the shock when one rival buys out the other. The more challenging question is always “what does this mean for me”?
Which is pretty much where we find ourselves with the recent announcement that NewPage is acquiring Verso. Of course we can expect the usual events to occur – the “well-off” will become better off still; the “barely making it” will have to look for employment elsewhere. But what does it all actually mean?
Thankfully, the Dead Tree Edition blog has done a bang-up job of analyzing the merger, attempting to answer those questions that never seem to get asked in most news accounts. Perhaps our favorite insight:
How did nearly bankrupt Verso, whose stock-market value was barely $30 million a week ago, pull off a deal that’s been valued at $1.4 billion? Short answer: OPM (Other People’s Money). Longer answer: Good question.