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Wausau Paper's largest shareholder calls for management overhaul and move, or saleSubmitted: 01/19/2014
Story By Lauren Stephenson


MOSINEE - Wausau Paper's largest shareholder, Starboard Value LP, wants the company to replace management or consider selling the company.

Starboard owns more than 15% of Wausau Paper's stock.

It publicly released a 10-page letter outlining its suggestions to board members Friday.

The letter criticizes current management for "ignoring shareholder concerns" and the company's "prolonged underperformance under the direction of the current management team and Board."

In the letter, Starboard's CEO Jeffrey Smith says Wausau Paper's board "has been more intent on lining the pockets of management."

He says the board spent $250 million to restructure its printing and writing business.

Starboard suggested they sell it.

Wausau Paper did finally sell the two specialty printing mills in Rhinelander and Mosinee to KPS Capital Partners LP last summer.

But Starboard CEO Jeffrey Smith said they should have sold a year earlier when the business was worth more.

Starboard claims management refuses to move headquarters from Mosinee even though "Wausau's Tissue business, which now represents 100% of revenue, operates entirely out of Kentucky and Ohio."

Wausau Paper just invested $220 million into its facility in Kentucky.

Starboard argues the management should move there to oversee the operations.

The letter also nominates three people directors to the Wausau Paper board.

One of those nominees is Starboard CEO Jeffrey Smith.

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The DNR suspended burning permits in 44 counties Monday, including all counties in the Northwoods.

The fire danger level ranged from "High" to "Very High" in most counties.

DNR fire crews have been on stand-by all day Monday.

"On days like today we are fully staffed and on high alert. All our stations are pre-positioning equipment. We're taking equipment from one part of the state and moving it to more critical areas. We are definitely on high alert," said Wildfire Prevention Specialist Catherine Koele.

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