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(NEWS CENTER) -- Verso Paper Corp. (NYSE:VRS), a leading North American producer of coated papers, and NewPage Holdings Inc., a leading producer of printing and specialty papers, today announced that they have entered into a definitive agreement under which Verso will acquire NewPage in a transaction valued at $1.4 billion.

Upon closing of the transaction, the combined company will have sales of approximately $4.5 billion and 11 manufacturing facilities located in six states.

The transaction, which has been unanimously approved by the boards of directors of both companies, is expected to close in the second half of 2014, subject to regulatory approvals.