Vertis Holdings Files Bankruptcy for 3rd Time Since 2008

Vertis Holdings Inc., a maker of advertising inserts, filed bankruptcy for the third time since 2008, saying it plans to sell itself to Quad/Graphics Inc. (QUAD) as part of a court-supervised auction.

Vertis and Quad have agreed to a deal in which Quad would be the lead bidder at a proposed auction with an offer worth $258.5 million, according to court papers filed in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Wilmington, Delaware, and a statement issued by the companies.

The Quad offer “ensures continuity for clients and the greatest number of opportunities for our employees while also maximizing value for our stakeholders,” Vertis Chief Executive Officer Gerald Sokol Jr. said in the statement.

Baltimore-based Vertis shed $700 million in debt as part of its second bankruptcy in 2010.

Vertis’s biggest unsecured creditor is the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp. The size of the debt wasn’t listed in court papers. The second-biggest unsecured creditor was Abitibi Bowater, owed $19.4 million.

The company has arranged to borrow $150 million so it can operate while seeking court approval for the auction and other bankruptcy requirements.

Quad, based in Sussex, Wisconsin, is a maker of advertising inserts for magazines and direct-mail marketing.

The case is In re Vertis Holdings Inc., 12-12821, U.S. Bankruptcy Court, District of Delaware (Wilmington).

To contact the reporter on this story: Steven Church in Wilmington, Delaware, at schurch3@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: John Pickering at jpickering@bloomberg.net

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