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Wausau Paper Corporation

Introduction

Wausau-Mosinee Paper Corporation, located in Mosinee, Wisconsin, is a public company that has been in operation since 1910. With over a century of experience, the company is a leader in specialty paper production, including fine printing and writing papers, towel and tissue papers, and more. They offer a wide range of products, such as labels for consumer products, laser-printable copy paper, stationary, and towel and tissue products. Wausau-Mosinee Paper has earned a solid reputation for delivering high-quality products to various industries.

Early History

The roots of Mosinee Paper Corporation can be traced back to 1910 when the Wausau Sulphate Fibre Company was established. Located on the Wisconsin River, the company was one of the first in the country to produce sulphate, or kraft, pulp and paper. Initially, the company focused on manufacturing kraft wrapping paper, guaranteeing its quality in 1914. Over time, they expanded their product offerings to meet the demands of emerging industries, specializing in custom papers with precise specifications.

In 1928, the company changed its name to Mosinee Paper Mills Company and acquired Bay West Paper Company, a manufacturer of paper towels and tissue based in Green Bay, Wisconsin. This acquisition allowed them to enter the “away-from-home” market, providing paper products for restaurants, hospitals, and other institutions. Mosinee Paper also pioneered the production of windshield wipe products for gas stations and became a trusted supplier for a variety of paper goods.

Advances in Technology Fuel Postwar Growth

Mosinee Paper experienced significant growth as industries became more automated and required specific paper products. By the 1960s, the company was producing around 40 grades of industrial papers to meet diverse specifications. Their product range included flameproof papers, moldproof papers, and creped papers. Mosinee Paper invested in new facilities and equipment, ensuring they could accommodate the evolving needs of their customers.

In 1971, the company changed its name to Mosinee Paper Corporation. They continued to expand their operations, acquiring J.U. Dickson Sawmill Inc. in South Dakota in 1974 and integrating it as a subsidiary. The company also purchased Sorg Paper Company in Middletown, Ohio, in 1983, focusing on specialty products like deep-color tissue. Mosinee Paper utilized niche markets often overlooked by larger competitors, resulting in steady growth and profitability.

Overcoming Problems: 1980s-Early 1990s

In 1988, Richard Radt, previously the head of Wausau Paper Mills, became the president and CEO of Mosinee Paper Corporation. His strategic approach included shutting down unprofitable operations and examining each product line’s profitability. Radt’s efforts helped the company regain financial stability, and by 1989, Mosinee Paper ranked number 14 on Consolidated Paper’s annual financial ranking of paper companies.

Although Mosinee Paper faced challenges in the early 1990s, such as contaminated raw materials and price drops due to a weak economy, they persevered. The company made strategic decisions to cut costs, focus on profitable products, and expand into new markets. Their dedication paid off, and by 1994, Mosinee Paper reported record earnings, demonstrating their ability to overcome obstacles.

Late 1990s and Beyond: Wausau-Mosinee

In 1997, Mosinee Paper merged with Wausau Paper Mills Company, resulting in the formation of Wausau-Mosinee Paper Corporation. The merger aimed to consolidate operations and reduce costs, ensuring the company’s long-term success. Despite challenges in the paper industry, Wausau-Mosinee Paper remained resilient, implementing cost-cutting measures and investing in new product development.

Under new leadership, Wausau-Mosinee Paper focused on increasing productivity, reducing expenses, and developing innovative products. They invested in upgrading their facilities to utilize new manufacturing processes successfully. Despite a weak economy and ongoing industry challenges, the company reported significant earnings growth by 2002.

Wausau-Mosinee Paper continues to navigate the ups and downs of the paper industry. With a commitment to quality and exceptional customer service, they remain a leading paper manufacturer in Wisconsin. Visit Quill And Fox to learn more about their products and services.

Key Dates:

  • 1899: Wausau Paper Mills is established.
  • 1910: Wausau Sulphate Fibre Company is established.
  • 1928: Wausau Sulphate changes its name to Mosinee Paper Mills Company; Bay West Paper Company is acquired.
  • 1971: The Mosinee Paper Corporation name is adopted.
  • 1983: Sorg Paper Company is acquired.
  • 1997: Mosinee merges with Wausau Paper Mills to become Wausau-Mosinee Paper Corporation.
  • 2000: The company launches a $46 million upgrade campaign at its Rhineland facility to manufacture a new release liner paper.

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