Wausau Paper should consider sale, says largest shareholder

Mon Jan 14, 2013 8:45am EST

Jan 14 (Reuters) - Money-losing Wausau Paper Corp's largest shareholder, Starboard Value LP, called on Monday for the specialty paper maker to consider a sale, after Wausau said it would review its paper business.

Starboard Value, a private equity firm, together with its affiliates owns 14.8 percent of Wausau Paper.

It nominated three board candidates for election at Wausau's 2013 annual meeting, saying Wausau was not moving fast enough to consider a sale of the paper business or the entire company.

Wausau, valued at about $440 million, said on Friday it had started considering strategic alternatives for its paper business and would focus on its tissue business.

The paper business had sales of $115.6 million in the third quarter, over half of the company's sales.

Wausau's revenue for the three-month period ended September was the lowest in six quarters and it posted a net loss for the second time in a row.

"Unfortunately, despite the continued underperformance of the Technical Paper business and our regular communications with you over the past year, you were unwilling to commit to exploring value-maximizing alternatives for either the technical paper business or the entire company," Starboard Value wrote in a letter to Wausau Chairman Thomas Howatt.

Shares of Wausau closed at $8.93 on Friday on the New York Stock Exchange.

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