NEW YORK, Feb. 11, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Starboard Value LP (together with its affiliates, "Starboard"), the largest shareholder of Wausau Paper Corp. (" Wausau" or the "Company") (NYSE: WPP) with approximately 14.8% of the outstanding common stock of the Company, announced today that it filed preliminary proxy materials with the SEC regarding the election of directors to the Wausau Board at the 2013 Annual Meeting. Starboard explained in its preliminary proxy that the current Board has been unwilling to explore value maximizing alternatives for the Company and has instead only been interested in maintaining the status quo unless faced with the pressure of an impending proxy contest.
For approximately two years now, Starboard has consistently urged the Company, through both private and public communications, to exit its money-losing Paper business in its entirety, including both the Print & Color business as well as the Technical Paper business. It was only after several public letters from Starboard last year, and while facing a potential proxy contest at the 2012 Annual Meeting, that the Company decided to sell only the Print & Color portion of its Paper segment, as well as its non-core timberland assets. Shortly following the completion of the transaction to sell Print & Color, and throughout all of 2012, Wausau made repeated statements about their commitment to remaining in the Technical Paper business and increased investments in this segment despite poor financial performance and increasing competition.
Now, in light of Starboard's recent action to nominate directors for election at the 2013 Annual Meeting, the Company has decided to make an about-face and publicly commit to exploring a sale of the Technical Paper business. This decision is entirely reactionary, and in-line with the Company's previous tactic of doing the bare minimum while faced with external pressure to attempt to win support from shareholders. We see this latest commitment as an extremely transparent attempt to try to avoid a proxy contest and allow the existing Board to remain in place. The reality is that a sale of the entire Paper business, including both Print & Color and Technical Paper, should have been explored last year and, if completed, would likely have resulted in significantly more value for shareholders than selling these businesses in part only after failing repeatedly to turn them around.
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