Wausau Paper expands board; Big investor happy - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Wausau Paper expands board; Big investor happy

WAUSAU (WAOW) - Wausau Paper, which has three of its mills for sale, says that it has agreed to add two new directors to its board who have been recommended by an investment firm that holds a big stake in the company.

It's the latest development between Wausau Paper and Starboard Value LP, a Manhattan hedge fund, over the future direction of the century-old company. Starboard has pushed for restructuring Wausau Paper since it began to accumulate a stake in it in 2011.

The agreement announced Wednesday expands the company's board from eight to nine members, and accepts Starboard's recommendation to add John Kvocka and George Murphy.

In a statement, Wausau Paper said neither man is employed by or affiliated with Wausau Paper or Starboard.

"We are pleased to have reached this agreement with Starboard," Wausau Paper President Hank Newell said.

Starboard Chief Executive Officer Jeff Smith said the additions of Kvocka and Murphy will bring a "fresh perspective" to the board and serve the best interests of the company and its stockholders.

Wausau Papers recently closed its mill in Brokaw, eliminating about 450 jobs, and announced it was shutting down its Brainerd, Minn., factory, eliminating 130 jobs.

In January, Wausau Paper said mills in Brainerd, Mosinee and Rhinelander were for sale, as the company planned to focus solely on making tissue and towel, which are produced at its mills in Kentucky and Ohio. The company currently is investing $220 million at its Harrodsburg, Ky., mill.

The company has not revealed whether there has been any specific interest expressed in buying the mills.

The new appointments to the board will be approved at the company's 2013 annual meeting.

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