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Top stockholder demands changes at Wausau Paper


MOSINEE, Wis. (WSAU) -- The investor with the most shares of Wausau Paper is again pressuring the company to change it’s direction.

Starboard Value LP is a New York based hedge fund that owns 15.2 percent of Wausau Paper’s shares. Their Friday letter to the board of directors accuses management of wasting millions of dollars supporting branches of the business that were not profitable.

The letter from Starboard recommends sweeping changes. They want the board to fire the management team, look at further restructuring of the company, and consider selling the company.

Starboard CEO Jeffrey Smith was successful in having four hand-picked members added to the Wausau Paper board in the past two years. Smith indicated in his letter to the board that Starboard will nominate three more people including him for the board elections at this spring’s annual meeting. Smith feels this is necessary since Wausau Paper has failed to change what they call a flawed strategy and, “a complete lack of urgency to make substantive changes.”

Wausau Paper officials have not yet commented on the Starboard Value LP letter.