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May 9, 2001 12:00 AM

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Weyerhaeuser Co. (Federal Way, WA) sweetened its hostile takeover bid for rival Willamette Industries Inc. (Portland, OR) by 4%, hoping to end a five-month standoff and clinch a $5.5 billion merger before a scheduled proxy battle next month.
Weyerhaeuser said in a letter to Willamette's board that it was raising its bid to $50 a share in cash, up from its previous offer of $48. Weyerhaeuser said that although it remains committed to completing a friendly merger, it will pursue its scheduled proxy battle to replace three directors on Willamette's board at its June 7 annual meeting if the two sides do not begin negotiations.
Willamette said it will review the increased bid. It urged shareholders not to tender their shares in support of the offer until it makes a formal recommendation.