As part of an agreement between Wausau Paper and Starboard Value, Gavin Molinelli, a partner at Starboard, will join Wausau's board of directors. Molinelli has been serving as an observer to the Wausau Board since April 22, 2014.
Recent years have seen Wausau Paper shut down its mills in Brokaw
and Brainerd, MN, and sell facilities in Mosinee and Rhinelander,
all while being embroiled in a proxy battle that could shift the
balance of power in the company’s leadership.
All that remains in central Wisconsin today of a once-dominant local employer founded in 1899 is a corporate headquarters building on Paper Place in Kronenwetter, a site that employs 25 to 50 general administrative jobs, according to Wausau Paper spokesman Perry Grueber. And those positions could be eliminated
Another major Wausau Paper shareholder is calling for
reorganization of the company’s board of directors and is asking
the board to hold management “accountable for serious execution
LionEye Capital Management, which owns 1.9 million shares of the company or 3.7 percent of the total common shares, made the request in a letter sent Wednesday to all Wausau Paper board members.
“Our funds have been invested for over 2½ years and throughout this period we have been very patient in our interactions with you,” the letter said. “Our patience has run out.”
MOSINEE, WI—Wausau Paper's largest stockholder is encouraging the company to move out of its current headquarters here and possibly sell its operation outright, the Stevens Point Journal reported.
In the long, painful story of the paper industry’s transformation,
the news this month that NewPage Holdings had been sold to Memphis,
TN-based Verso Paper counts as a positive development.
On the other hand, the news Saturday that the activist hedge fund that pressured Wausau Paper into selling its mills in Mosinee and Rhinelander now wants the company out of Wisconsin underscores the difficult, sometimes wrenching transition paper makers are still undergoing here.
A Manhattan hedge fund that takes credit for forcing Wausau Paper
to shut down one Wisconsin mill and sell two others now wants the
company to move its headquarters out of Mosinee (WI) and possibly
sell its entire operation outright.
Starboard Value LP, which is Wausau Paper’s largest stockholder with 15.2 percent of shares, renewed a pattern Friday of an aggressive, public campaign to alter the papermaker that started along the banks of the Wisconsin River north of Wausau in 1899.
In a scathing 10-page letter to the company’s board of directors, Starboard CEO Jeffrey Smith called Wausau Paper “deeply undervalued”
BRAINERD, MN—Environmental concerns have caused a potential buyer for the now-shuttered Wausau Paper mill here to withdraw, The Associated Press reported.
A potential buyer for a Wausau Paper mill in north-central
Minnesota has withdrawn, citing environmental concerns. Liberty
Diversified International's chairman and CEO informed the city of
Brainerd Tuesday the company was no longer interested in possibly
buying the plant.
Brainerd City Council member Gary Scheeler tells the Brainerd Dispatch he was shocked by LDI's decision.
A Wausau Paper plant in the east-central Minnesota city of Brainerd
might have a potential buyer. City officials aren't releasing the
name, but a purchase could be good news after the mill's closure in
April cost about 130 workers their jobs.
"We hope it works out with the potential buyer," City Councilman Gary Scheeler said. "To put a business in this plant would be extremely good news for the area. It's too early to tell exactly what the outcome will be."
KPS announced in April it was acquiring Thilmany Papers, which has
mills in Kaukauna (WI) and De Pere (WI), from Packaging Dynamics.
It announced previously it was buying Wausau Paper’s specialty
KPS now has definitive agreements to buy both operations it said in a statement Monday. The deal is expected to close by summer. “We are very excited to create Expera,” said Raquel Palmer, a representative with KPS, a New York-based private equity firm.
She said the combined operations of Wausau Paper and Thilmany will make Expera a leading manufacturer of specialty paper.