Starboard Value LP, the activist investor that’s the biggest shareholder of Wausau Paper Corp. (WPP), nominated three directors to the board and said the paper-products maker should replace its management or seek a sale.
Wausau’s “continued underperformance is directly tied to the fact that board and management leadership remain largely unchanged,” Starboard said today in a letter to the Mosinee, Wisconsin-based paper company’s board.
Starboard nominees are: Cynthia T. Jamison, chairman of Tractor Supply Co.; Starboard Chief Executive Officer Jeffrey C. Smith; and Russell C. Taylor, the former CEO of Cellu Tissue Holdings Inc.
Starboard, which has a 15 percent stake in Wausau, has been trying to make changes at the company for 2 1/2 years. Wausau sold its specialty paper segment last year and in 2012 divested a group of brands including Astrobrights and Royal. The fund is demanding further changes including the return of more cash to investors, cost cuts, and an improvement in management “focus and execution.”
“Further, we believe there is a meaningful opportunity for Wausau to create value by participating in industry consolidation,” Starboard said.
No one at Wausau was immediately available to comment.
Wausau declined 0.2 percent to $12.85 at 9:53 a.m. in New York.
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