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Report: Hedge Fund Urges More Action at Wausau Paper

January 24, 2014
MOSINEE, WI—Wausau Paper's largest stockholder is encouraging the company to move out of its current headquarters here and possibly sell its entire operation outright, the Stevens Point Journal reported.

Hedge fund Starboard Value LP, which holds 15.2 percent of Wausau's shares and was behind a campaign to get the company to sell two mills and close another, is pressing the paper manufacturer once again.

The CEO of Starboard, Jeffrey Smith, was highly critical of the company in a 10-page letter to Wausau's board of directors. Smith accused Wausau's executives with wasting millions of dollars in recent years to salvage aspects of the business that he deemed were destined to fail, the paper said.

“Despite substantial losses in its paper businesses going back as far as the year 2000, as well as years of criticism from shareholders and research analysts, Wausau (Paper) continued to blindly follow its flawed strategy and showed a complete lack of urgency to make substantive changes,” Smith wrote, according to the Journal.

The letter recommends, among other things, that the board fire the management team, restructure or explore the prospects of a sale. Smith said that Starboard plans to nominate himself and two others to the board at its spring annual meeting.
 

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