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Wausau Paper selling mills at Mosinee, Rhinelander, Brainerd, focus on tissue


MOSINEE, WI (WSAU) -  Wausau Paper plans to sell three mills and change the focus of their future business. In a Friday press release, company officials confirmed they plan to “focus its management efforts on continuing the growth of its highly successful tissue business.” The tissue and towel products are produced in Ohio and Kentucky. They are investing $220 million dollars to expand tissue production at the Harrodsburg, Kentucky site.

What the press release doesn’t specifically say is when and how the specialty paper divisions that make masking tape and food wrapping, among other things, will be divested. There is also no mention of closing these sites if no buyer is found, but Wausau Paper has shut down unprofitable mills before. Nearly a year ago, Wausau Paper closed the Brokaw Mill which made writing and printing paper.

A Friday Milwaukee Journal Sentinel article confirms the Mosinee and Rhinelander mills are for sale, as well as the Brainerd Minnesota mill. If those properties are sold or closed, Wausau Paper will have all production out of state, and only their headquarters left in Wisconsin.

Starboard Value LP is a New York based hedge fund company that controls the majority of Wausau Paper stock. Company officials from Starboard Value and Wausau Paper could not be reached for comment Friday afternoon.

The press release can be viewed on the Wausau Paper website with the embedded link above, or by opening the PDF attachment.