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Willamette accepts Weyerhaeuser offer in principle

Jan 24, 2002 12:00 AM

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Willamette Industries Inc. (Portland, OR) finally agreed in principle to sell the company to Weyerhaeuser Co. (Federal Way, WA) for $55.50 per share in cash, or $6.1 billion, subject to negotiation of a definitive merger agreement. Willamette has consequently ended negotiations to acquire Georgia-Pacific Corp.’s (Augusta, GA) building materials unit.

Weyerhaeuser had launched a hostile takeover attempt of Willamette in November 2000, initially offering $43 per share. Willamette had rejected this and four following offers from Weyerhaeuser, contending that they were woefully inadequate. In the process, Weyerhaeuser had won a bitterly contested battle to place three representatives on Willamette’s nine-member board.

The offer will be considered at the Willamette board meeting at the end of this month. If approved, the merger will reportedly create a company with $20 billion in combined revenue, 7.5 million acres of timberland and the third largest paper producer, behind International Paper and Georgia-Pacific.