NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Verso Paper Corp. (VRS) - Get Report climbed 70% to hit a year high of $5.54 in morning trading on Tuesday after the company announced on Monday that it had agreed to acquire NewPage Holdings in a deal worth $1.4 billion.

The stock leaped by $.60 a share when the market opened on Tuesday morning. The stock also traded at a volume of approximately 6.1 million, which is 46.5 times more than its average volume of approximately 131,000.

The acquisition is pending regulatory approval and is expected to close in the second half of 2014. The two companies expect the acquisition to produce at least $175 million in pretax savings, according to a Verso statement.

"The combination of Verso and NewPage will create a stronger business that is better positioned to serve our customers and compete in a competitive global marketplace," said Verso president and chief executive David J. Paterson in the statement. "We continue to face increased competition from electronic substitution for print and international producers, but as a larger, more efficient organization with a sustainable capital structure, we will be better positioned to compete effectively and deliver solid results despite the industry's continuing challenges."

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