|By PR Newswire||
|February 11, 2013 12:14 PM EST||
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.
For several years, both shareholders and sell-side research analysts have expressed their belief that Wausau should exit its money-losing operations, cease committing capital to its Paper segment, and focus on its highly profitable Tissue business. It has taken the threat of two consecutive proxy contests for this Board to get the message.
Since reaching a settlement with Wausau in February 2012, Starboard has clearly articulated its views to the Company that the current Board collectively lacks sufficient industry experience (aside from Michael C. Burandt and Charles E. Hodges, who were elected to the Board under the settlement) and that in order to maximize value for shareholders, the Company needs to either (i) sell the non-core, money-losing Technical Paper business, focus on the Tissue business, and reduce redundant overhead costs, or (ii) sell the entire Company. Starboard has been consistently clear that both of these options should be fully explored.
Starboard strongly believes that meaningful change on the Board is critical to ensure that the Company does not return to its past practices of complacent oversight and reactionary measures. Starboard further believes that management and certain members of the Board may be conflicted in objectively assessing a sale of the Technical Paper business, because if it is sold it will be difficult to justify maintaining management and Board functions in Wisconsin, where management and certain Board members are currently located, given that the Tissue business operates out of Ohio and Kentucky.
Starboard also notes that the Company reported its Fourth Quarter 2012 earnings this morning. Upon a preliminary review of Wausau's 8-K filing, it appears that the Company's Tissue business continues to perform strongly as its new machine starts up, but that the Technical Paper business reported yet another extremely disappointing quarter, with an adjusted operating loss of $6.8 million, reflecting management's continued poor execution in this business.
Lastly, Starboard notes that on February 1, 2013, Starboard and its affiliates submitted a request for a waiver under Wausau's Shareholder Rights Plan (the "Poison Pill") to allow Starboard to purchase up to 19.99% of the common shares of Wausau Paper. The current Poison Pill has a 15% threshold and Starboard currently beneficially owns 14.8%. Starboard noted that the Poison Pill was adopted by the Board without shareholder approval, has never been put to a vote, and conflicts with ISS' best practices, which state that poison pills should contain, among other things, (i) no lower than a 20% trigger and (ii) a term of no more than three years. Starboard also seriously questioned the Board's rationale and need for adopting and extending its Poison Pill since there are certain anti-takeover provisions under both Wisconsin law and Wausau's articles of incorporation that adequately guard against any potential abusive tactics by third parties to gain control of the Company. As of today, Starboard has not received a formal response to its request for the waiver.
Starboard's Director Nominees:
John S. Kvocka is the former CFO of Finch Paper LLC and former VP of Business Development for SCA Tissue North America. Mr. Kvocka is currently President and Chief Executive Officer of JSK Associates, an entrepreneurial and consulting entity. Mr. Kvocka is a former Senior Advisor and director of Apex Resource Technologies, Inc., a medical device manufacturing company, Senior Advisor and director of Garnet River LLC, an IT services and business consulting firm, and Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of Finch Paper LLC, a manufacturer and supplier of fine quality uncoated printing and writing papers. Mr. Kvocka has more than 30 years of experience and successful track record in Senior C-Level Management and Board member roles and has deep expertise in the tissue industry.
George Patrick Murphy is the former VP and Business Leader of the Away From Home Division of Kimberly-Clark Corporation (f/k/a Scott Paper Company) and former CEO of Technical Concepts LLC. Mr. Murphy is currently a Senior Operating Partner of Hudson Ferry Capital LLC, a private equity firm, and a member of the Executive Team of Advisors of Mason Wells, a private equity company. Mr. Murphy served on the Board of Directors, including in the role of Executive Chairman, of Atlas Paper Mills LLC. Mr. Murphy has more than 15 years of experience in senior leadership positions, including with Fortune 100 companies, and as a director of public and private companies in the tissue and other industries.
Jeffrey C. Smith is co-Founder and CEO of Starboard Value, a New York-based investment firm that is the largest shareholders of Wausau. Mr. Smith has extensive public company board experience. Currently, he serves on the board of Regis Corp. Previously, he was the Chairman of the Board of Phoenix Technologies Ltd., and a director of Zoran Corporation, Actel Corporation, S1 Corporation, Kensey Nash Corp. and SurModics Inc. Mr. Smith also served as a member of the Management Committee for Register.com. In addition to extensive public board experience, Mr. Smith has significant experience evaluating companies from a financial, operational, and strategic perspective to identify inefficiencies and the resulting opportunities for value creation.
About Starboard Value LP
Starboard Value LP is a New York-based investment adviser with a focused and differentiated fundamental approach to investing in publicly traded U.S. small cap companies. Starboard invests in deeply undervalued small cap companies and actively engages with management teams and boards of directors to identify and execute on opportunities to unlock value for the benefit of all shareholders.
Peter Feld, (212) 201-4878
Gavin Molinelli, (212) 201-4828
CERTAIN INFORMATION CONCERNING THE PARTICIPANTS
Starboard Value LP, together with the other participants named herein, has made a preliminary filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission ("SEC") of a proxy statement and accompanying proxy card to be used to solicit votes for the election of a slate of director nominees at the 2013 annual meeting of shareholders of Wausau Paper Corp., a Wisconsin corporation (the "Company").
STARBOARD STRONGLY ADVISES ALL STOCKHOLDERS OF THE COMPANY TO READ THE PROXY STATEMENT AND OTHER PROXY MATERIALS AS THEY BECOME AVAILABLE BECAUSE THEY WILL CONTAIN IMPORTANT INFORMATION. SUCH PROXY MATERIALS WILL BE AVAILABLE AT NO CHARGE ON THE SEC'S WEB SITE AT HTTP://WWW.SEC.GOV. IN ADDITION, THE PARTICIPANTS IN THIS PROXY SOLICITATION WILL PROVIDE COPIES OF THE PROXY STATEMENT WHEN IT BECOMES AVAILABLE WITHOUT CHARGE UPON REQUEST.
The participants in the proxy solicitation are Starboard Value and Opportunity Master Fund Ltd ("Starboard V&O Fund"), Starboard Value and Opportunity S LLC ("Starboard LLC"), Starboard Value LP, Starboard Value GP LLC ("Starboard Value GP"), Starboard Principal Co LP ("Principal Co"), Starboard Principal Co GP LLC ("Principal GP"), Jeffrey C. Smith, Mark R. Mitchell, Peter A. Feld, John S. Kvocka and George Patrick Murphy (collectively, the "Participants").
As of the date of this filing, Starboard V&O Fund beneficially owns 4,713,392 shares of common stock, no par value (the "Common Stock") of the Company. As of the date of this filing, Starboard LLC beneficially owns 1,154,496 shares of Common Stock. Starboard Value LP, as the investment manager of Starboard V&O Fund and of a certain managed account (the "Starboard Value LP Account") and the Manager of Starboard LLC, may be deemed the beneficial owner of an aggregate of 7,300,000 shares of Common Stock held directly by Starboard V&O Fund and Starboard LLC and including 1,432,112 shares of Common Stock held in the Starboard Value LP Account. Each of Starboard Value GP, as the general partner of Starboard Value LP, Principal Co, as a member of Starboard Value GP, Principal GP, as the general partner of Principal Co and each of Messrs. Smith, Mitchell and Feld, as a member of Principal GP and as a member of each of the Management Committee of Starboard Value GP and the Management Committee of Principal GP, may be deemed the beneficial owner of the 7,300,000 shares of Common Stock held directly by Starboard V&O Fund and Starboard LLC and held in the Starboard Value LP Account. As of the date hereof, neither Mr. Kvocka nor Mr. Murphy owns any shares of Common Stock of the Company.
SOURCE Starboard Value LP
DevOps tends to focus on the relationship between Dev and Ops, putting an emphasis on the ops and application infrastructure. But that’s changing with microservices architectures. In her session at DevOps Summit, Lori MacVittie, Evangelist for F5 Networks, will focus on how microservices are changing the underlying architectures needed to scale, secure and deliver applications based on highly distributed (micro) services and why that means an expansion into “the network” for DevOps.
Jan. 19, 2017 08:45 PM EST Reads: 5,239
WebRTC is bringing significant change to the communications landscape that will bridge the worlds of web and telephony, making the Internet the new standard for communications. Cloud9 took the road less traveled and used WebRTC to create a downloadable enterprise-grade communications platform that is changing the communication dynamic in the financial sector. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Leo Papadopoulos, CTO of Cloud9, discussed the importance of WebRTC and how it enables companies to focus o...
Jan. 19, 2017 07:30 PM EST Reads: 4,229
A critical component of any IoT project is what to do with all the data being generated. This data needs to be captured, processed, structured, and stored in a way to facilitate different kinds of queries. Traditional data warehouse and analytical systems are mature technologies that can be used to handle certain kinds of queries, but they are not always well suited to many problems, particularly when there is a need for real-time insights.
Jan. 19, 2017 06:30 PM EST Reads: 6,315
Providing secure, mobile access to sensitive data sets is a critical element in realizing the full potential of cloud computing. However, large data caches remain inaccessible to edge devices for reasons of security, size, format or limited viewing capabilities. Medical imaging, computer aided design and seismic interpretation are just a few examples of industries facing this challenge. Rather than fighting for incremental gains by pulling these datasets to edge devices, we need to embrace the i...
Jan. 19, 2017 05:30 PM EST Reads: 3,630
Web Real-Time Communication APIs have quickly revolutionized what browsers are capable of. In addition to video and audio streams, we can now bi-directionally send arbitrary data over WebRTC's PeerConnection Data Channels. With the advent of Progressive Web Apps and new hardware APIs such as WebBluetooh and WebUSB, we can finally enable users to stitch together the Internet of Things directly from their browsers while communicating privately and securely in a decentralized way.
Jan. 19, 2017 05:15 PM EST Reads: 3,104
All organizations that did not originate this moment have a pre-existing culture as well as legacy technology and processes that can be more or less amenable to DevOps implementation. That organizational culture is influenced by the personalities and management styles of Executive Management, the wider culture in which the organization is situated, and the personalities of key team members at all levels of the organization. This culture and entrenched interests usually throw a wrench in the work...
Jan. 19, 2017 05:15 PM EST Reads: 1,310
With major technology companies and startups seriously embracing IoT strategies, now is the perfect time to attend @ThingsExpo 2016 in New York. Learn what is going on, contribute to the discussions, and ensure that your enterprise is as "IoT-Ready" as it can be! Internet of @ThingsExpo, taking place June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, New York, is co-located with 20th Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry p...
Jan. 19, 2017 04:45 PM EST Reads: 3,755
@DevOpsSummit at Cloud taking place June 6-8, 2017, at Javits Center, New York City, is co-located with the 20th International Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. The widespread success of cloud computing is driving the DevOps revolution in enterprise IT. Now as never before, development teams must communicate and collaborate in a dynamic, 24/7/365 environment. There is no time to wait for long developm...
Jan. 19, 2017 04:45 PM EST Reads: 3,476
"We're bringing out a new application monitoring system to the DevOps space. It manages large enterprise applications that are distributed throughout a node in many enterprises and we manage them as one collective," explained Kevin Barnes, President of eCube Systems, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at DevOps at 18th Cloud Expo, held June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
Jan. 19, 2017 04:15 PM EST Reads: 5,408
In his General Session at 17th Cloud Expo, Bruce Swann, Senior Product Marketing Manager for Adobe Campaign, explored the key ingredients of cross-channel marketing in a digital world. Learn how the Adobe Marketing Cloud can help marketers embrace opportunities for personalized, relevant and real-time customer engagement across offline (direct mail, point of sale, call center) and digital (email, website, SMS, mobile apps, social networks, connected objects).
Jan. 19, 2017 04:00 PM EST Reads: 5,433
SYS-CON Events announced today that Catchpoint, a leading digital experience intelligence company, has been named “Silver Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Catchpoint Systems is a leading Digital Performance Analytics company that provides unparalleled insight into your customer-critical services to help you consistently deliver an amazing customer experience. Designed for digital business, C...
Jan. 19, 2017 03:45 PM EST Reads: 1,796
A look across the tech landscape at the disruptive technologies that are increasing in prominence and speculate as to which will be most impactful for communications – namely, AI and Cloud Computing. In his session at 20th Cloud Expo, Curtis Peterson, VP of Operations at RingCentral, will highlight the current challenges of these transformative technologies and share strategies for preparing your organization for these changes. This “view from the top” will outline the latest trends and developm...
Jan. 19, 2017 03:30 PM EST Reads: 1,038
When you focus on a journey from up-close, you look at your own technical and cultural history and how you changed it for the benefit of the customer. This was our starting point: too many integration issues, 13 SWP days and very long cycles. It was evident that in this fast-paced industry we could no longer afford this reality. We needed something that would take us beyond reducing the development lifecycles, CI and Agile methodologies. We made a fundamental difference, even changed our culture...
Jan. 19, 2017 02:15 PM EST Reads: 1,063
@ThingsExpo has been named the ‘Top WebRTC Influencer' by iTrend. iTrend processes millions of conversations, tweets, interactions, news articles, press releases, blog posts - and extract meaning form them and analyzes mobile and desktop software platforms used to communicate, various metadata (such as geo location), and automation tools. In overall placement, @ThingsExpo ranked as the number one ‘WebRTC Influencer' followed by @DevOpsSummit at 55th.
Jan. 19, 2017 02:00 PM EST Reads: 4,786
The 20th International Cloud Expo has announced that its Call for Papers is open. Cloud Expo, to be held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, brings together Cloud Computing, Big Data, Internet of Things, DevOps, Containers, Microservices and WebRTC to one location. With cloud computing driving a higher percentage of enterprise IT budgets every year, it becomes increasingly important to plant your flag in this fast-expanding business opportunity. Submit your speaking proposal ...
Jan. 19, 2017 01:15 PM EST Reads: 5,165