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Wausau Paper Corp. defends strategy, "surprised" at shareholder critique

MOSINEE, WI (WTAQ) - The Wausau Paper Corporation defended its reorganizational strategy Tuesday and said it was "surprised and disappointed" over new criticism from its largest shareholder.

Last Friday, the Starboard Value hedge fund of New York revived a public feud it's been having with Wausau Paper over the last three years. As it has in the past, Starboard said Wausau's management ignored shareholder concerns, missed earnings' projections, lined managers' pockets, and again said the firm should leave Wisconsin completely.  

Wausau Paper kept quiet until it issued a statement Tuesday morning. The firm defended what it calls, "a successful strategic transformation into a pure-play tissue company that is delivering strong volumes, margin expansion, earnings, and free cash flow growth."  

Wausau also noted that Starboard Value is trying to gain a disproportionate influence over the company by trying to gain a majority on Wausau's board -- even though it only owns 15 percent of the firm's stock.  

Last year, Wausau sold its remaining Wisconsin paper mills, which Starboard Value took credit for. Wausau's only remaining Wisconsin operation is its corporate headquarters in Mosinee.

(Story courtesy of Wheeler News Service)