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Pacific Lumber purchased by Gap family

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Pacific Lumber Co. (Palco), the troubled California logging firm that filed for bankruptcy protection in 2007, has been purchased by Mendocino Redwood, a neighboring timber company owned by the San Francisco family that founded the Gap clothing chain, headed by husband and wife Donald and Doris Fisher. The $600 million deal, approved by a federal court in Corpus Christi, Texas, on July 30, will give Mendocino Redwood control of 210,000 acres of redwood and Douglas fir timberlands, as well as a sawmill in Scotia, Calif.

Mendocino Redwood Co., based in Ukiah, Calif., owns and manages 228,000 acres of timberland just south of the Palco lands. All of its land is certified by the Forest Stewardship Council. Mendocino said it plans to change Palco’s name to Humboldt Redwood Co. and apply for FSC certification for Palco’s forestland, which is currently certified under the Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI) program.

Palco was purchased by a Houston financier in 1986, and the company’s subsequent logging practices, particularly in old growth redwood forests, sparked a battle with environmentalists that lasted for two decades. Overdue bonds and logging restrictions eventually forced Palco into Chapter 11.

Competing reorganization plans have been battling for months over Palco’s fate, and a group of bondholders made a last ditch attempt in federal appeals court to block the Mendocino Redwood deal. But the higher court upheld the bankruptcy court’s decision, making Mendocino the new owners of Palco.

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Hackett’s opens 10th location

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Ogdensburg, N.Y.-based Hackett’s, a chain of department stores with full service hardware departments, opened its 10th location on Aug. 2 in Sackets Harbor, N.Y.

Hackett’s is one of the nation’s oldest retailers with roots dating back to 1830. Each store contains a full service True Value hardware department with traditional hardware, tools, plumbing, paint and electrical departments.

Other departments in the stores include men’s, women’s and children’s brand name apparel, athletic, casual and work footwear, home decor, gifts, seasonal merchandise and sporting goods.

The official grand opening, which includes door prize giveaways and other special promotions, is scheduled for Aug. 6 and will continue through the weekend.

“We were very pleased with the opening of the new location, and we received positive feedback from the customers that visited the store,” said Norm Garrelts, president of Hackett’s.

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Third-quarter losses narrower at D.R. Horton

BY HBSDEALER Staff

D.R. Horton recorded narrower — but still significant — losses in the third quarter. The home builder, one of the largest in the United States, lost $399.3 million in the period, compared with $823.8 million in losses in the same period last year.

The company took a $500 million charge for write-offs and folded land options contracts. In all, revenue from home and lot sales totaled $1.43 billion, down 43.9 percent from $2.55 billion in the same period.

“Although market conditions in the home-building industry remain challenging, we continue to focus on reducing our inventory and generating cash flow from operations,” said Donald R. Horton, chairman of the company’s board of directors, in a statement.

The company’s sales backlog of homes under contract as of June 30 was 8,281 homes, worth an estimated $1.9 billion. That’s significantly lower than the 15,801, worth around $4.4 billion, at the same time last year.

D.R. Horton has operations in 80 markets in 27 states.

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