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Veritiv (NYSE:VRTV) looked like a potential short from the jump. The company was the result of a merger between a spun-off unit of International Paper (NYSE:IP) and a print distribution company owned by Bain Capital and Koch Industries' Georgia-Pacific. It was Bain that approached IP with the idea of matching its Unisource business with IP's xpedx unit, ostensibly to slash costs and allow the combined company to wring profitability out of what appeared to be a declining business. The result seemed to be a reasonably-leveraged, low-margin company facing declining sales.
Of course, VRTV went straight up following its mid-2014 spinoff, with noted investor Seth Klarman taking a 14% stake soon afterward.
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