Starboard Value Comes Out Swinging in the New Year


Hedge Fund begins the year by picking a couple of board fights

Starboard Value L.P. comes banging into 2013, putting the smack down on Calgon Carbon Corporation (CCC) and Wausau Paper Corp. (WPP).

On January 22, Starboard filed a Schedule 13D disclosing holdings of 4.4 million shares, or about 7.7%, of the CCC common stock.  In discussing the reasons for the acquisitions, Starboard said that it believed the shares were undervalued and represented an attractive investment opportunity.  As if to show their commitment:

“On January 15, 2013, Starboard V&O Fund delivered a letter to the Issuer (the “Nomination Letter”) nominating Louis S. Massimo, Lee D. Meyer and Jeffrey C. Smith (the “Nominees”) for election to the Board at the 2013 annual meeting of shareholders (the “2013 Annual Meeting”). The Reporting Persons have engaged, and intend to continue to engage, in discussions with management and the Board of the Issuer regarding the nomination of directors at the 2013 Annual Meeting and the composition of the Issuer’s Board, generally.”

Shares of CCC closed at $15.85 on January 15 and were trading at $16.48 at this writing.

On January 14, Starboard sent a letter to the Chairman of the Board of Wausau, stating that:

  • Starboard owns 14.8% of WPP common stock, making it Wausau’s largest shareholder;
  • Starboard was surprised and disappointed in Wausau’s handing of the events the prior Friday leading to Wausau’s issuance of an after-market press release announcing that it had begun a review of strategic alternatives for its Technical Paper business; and
  • Starboard was nominating three highly-qualified candidates for election at upcoming Wausau annual meeting.

Wausau did not feel quite the same way about their meeting, saying:

“We were disturbed by your letter and public statements regarding the recent discussions with you about the strategy and governance of Wausau Paper. Your public description of the sequence of private events is inaccurate in many respects.”

There is clearly a longer history here, but shares of WPP closed at $9.01 on January 14 and were trading at $9.81 as of this writing.

The name ‘Calgon’ reminded me of these commercials from a simpler time, oh so long ago.

Speaking of people in a bathtub, I’m not sure what’s going here but YouTube recommended it when we were looking for the Calgon commercial. It almost gave me a seizure.


This entry was posted in Activist Investor, Business Strategy, Hedge Funds, Shareholder Meeting, Starboard Value and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>