Business moving headquarters to Dayton is loss for Memphis

Dayton’s gain appears to be another city’s loss as paper maker Verso Corp. plans to move its 60-employee head office from Memphis to Miami Twp.

A Memphis-based newspaper has noted the impact that the move would have on the city. Verso’s departure will leave Memphis with 11 public companies based in the city, according to The Commercial Appeal. “Public refers to companies whose shares of stock are traded on stock exchanges. Public companies are often considered stronger financially than private companies, and better able to weather setbacks,” the news outlet reported.

>>> RELATED: Company plans to move corporate HQ to Miami Twp. with state help

Verso Corp., which said the move depends on state incentives, made the announcement in mid-November as it moves to improve operations after a bankruptcy.

The public company, which acquired Miami Twp.-based NewPage Holdings in 2014 for $1.4 billion, emerged from bankruptcy in July. Verso’s restructuring reduced the company’s debt by $2.4 billion and included $595 million in exit financing to support ongoing operations and capital investment.

The plan calls for Verso, which employs 60 in Memphis, to move into what is the former headquarters for NewPage on Gander Creek Drive.

>>> RELATED: Paper company with local presence emerges from bankruptcy

The deal comes after several years of concern that Dayton would lose another employer. In 2008, the National Cash Register Corp. — the city’s last Fortune 500 company — announced it was moving its headquarters to Atlanta. And in the same year, General Motors announced that it would close its plant in Moraine.

Jobs that would be gained from Verso’s presence in the area are important to the continued stability of Dayton’s economy.

October was the third consecutive month of job losses for the state, bringing the annual rate of job growth to just under 1 percent — or about half the national growth rate, according to an analysis of the jobs numbers by Policy Matters Ohio, a left-leaning think tank in Columbus.

>>> RELATED: Ohio lost 2,800 jobs in October, unemployment increases

“Ohio continues to backtrack on job growth,” said Hannah Halbert, a Policy Matters researcher. “The losses have been small, but it is a worrying trend, and one we have not seen since late 2009.”

Count on the Dayton Daily News for continued coverage of job growth in Dayton. Follow reporter Kara Driscoll on social media and sign up for our daily business newsletter.

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