Starboard: Wausau should consider selling itself

Wausau's biggest investor Starboard says co. should consider a sale, nominates 3 to board

Associated Press

NEW YORK (AP) -- Wausau Paper Corp. needs to consider putting itself up for sale, its largest shareholder, activist investment firm Starboard Value LP, said Monday as it nominated three candidates for the paper company's board.

The firm's push came after Wausau said Friday afternoon that it is reviewing strategic options for the specialty paper business because it wants to focus its efforts on its tissue products unit. Starboard criticized the timing of the move and said the company needs to explore all its options, not just those for specialty paper, to gauge the best value for shareholders.

Wausau's revenue slipped 2 percent in 2011, and analysts polled by FactSet expect that revenue dropped another 19 percent in 2012.

Starboard, which owns a 14.8-percent stake in Wausau, is nominating former Finch Paper CFO John Kvocka, former Kimberly-Clark Corp. executive George Patrick Murphy, and Starboard CEO Jeffrey Smith for director positions.

Shares of the Mosinee, Wis., company rose 9 cents, or 1 percent, to to $9.02 in afternoon trading, and have traded between $7.46 and $9.92 over the past 12 months.

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