Vertis, American Color Merge, Restructure

BALTIMORE—M&A negotiations, like fishing, can sometimes take more patience than most people are willing to demonstrate. That wasn’t the case in the nearly year-long saga between Vertis Communications and American Color Graphics.

It takes a little patience and knowledge in both M&A negotiations and the nuances of reorganizational laws to follow the deal Vertis finally hammered down with Brentwood, TN-based American Color Graphics. The companies announced merger and comprehensive restructuring plans that will strengthen their finances, expand their North American footprint and improve their respective product and service offerings.

Both companies have struggled in the time since they originally signed a Letter of Intent to join forces last July. The letter was rescinded in October, but the companies expressed a desire to continue negotiating.

The companies have reached debt exchange accords with their respective noteholders. By agreeing to facilitate the restructuring through prepackaged Chapter 11 plans, they will be able to more efficiently exchange the notes. The restructuring agreements and terms of the prepackaged plans call for all trade creditors, suppliers, customers and employees to receive all amounts owed to them in the ordinary course of business.

American Color will become a wholly owned subsidiary of Vertis. The proceedings are expected to conclude later this summer.

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