With more than 110 years experience, Wausau Paper has proficiency in selling paper and tissue products. The company produces Bay West branded towel, tissue, soap, and dispensing products for hotels, hospitals, schools, and office buildings. Industrial papers, food packaging, and other specialty papers are part of a long lineup making Wausau one of the leading paper producers. Its engineered products include supercalendered (smooth-finished) backing papers for labeling, protective barrier paper for deli items, base for masking tape, and lightweight paper for sterile medical purposes. Most of its US customers are regional and national sanitation supply distributors and paper merchants.
After bouncing back after the recession, Wausau Paper saw its revenues decline by 2% from 2010 to 2011 as it suffered a $21 million net loss for 2011. Both its tissue and paper segment net sales decreased by 2% in 2011 as shipments dropped by more than 7% primarily to volume reductions within its print and color market. The net loss was related to higher expense costs it had to pay as a result of the closure of a Brokaw mill, an expansion project in its tissue segment, and a paper machine rebuilding initiative.
In order to keep a lid on costs and divest its underperforming segments, Wausau Paper in early 2012 sold its Premium Print and Color Brands, including Astrobrights, Astroparche, and Royal products, to fellow paper producer Neenah Paper. Though Neenah paid about $21 million for the deal, it didn't want Wausau's Brokaw, Wisconsin paper mill; the mill closed, eliminating about 450 jobs.
The company is focusing on its more recession-resistant products, and eco-friendly products lead in customer preference and business profitability. Wastepaper accounts for almost all of the raw material needed to produce more than 50% of Wausau Paper's towel and tissue products; its Green Seal certified line represents more than half of the business segment's total sales volume. – less