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Plum Creek sells interest in southern timberlands

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Plum Creek Timber has entered into a joint venture with the Campbell Group, a timberland investment management company, involving 454,000 acres of timberlands in six southern states: Oklahoma, Arkansas, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia.

Under the terms of the agreement, Plum Creek will contribute the timberlands to the joint venture, and in return will receive a cash loan of $783 million contributed by Campbell. Plum Creek will use half the money to repay debt and the remainder for general corporate purposes, including share repurchases. Plum Creek will also receive a $705 million preferred interest in the joint venture.

The Campbell Group, based in Portland, Ore., will manage the joint venture lands for continued timber production. Campbell currently manages more than two million acres of timberland in 13 states. Campbell Group investors will receive a common interest worth approximately 91 percent of the joint venture’s common equity.

Seattle-based Plum Creek, a public company, owns approximately 8 million acres of timberland in 18 states, along with 10 wood products manufacturing facilities that make lumber, plywood and medium density fiberboard (MDF) in the Northwest.

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U.S. exporters report gains

BY HBSDEALER Staff

The Worldwide DIY Council, a trade group of U.S. and Canadian manufacturers who also export to other countries, has released a member survey showing sales growth of 20 percent or more in almost every product category this year. Sales to Mexico, Central and South America posted the most gains, and Eastern Europe, especially Poland, were also noteworthy, the survey reported.

Looking ahead to 2009, council members predicted sales increases of 10 percent to 20 percent in most merchandise categories. They listed Latin America, Eastern Europe, and southeast Asia, particularly India, China and Russia, as promising markets for U.S. and Canadian made goods.

Anumber of the council members will be exhibiting together at the upcoming 2008 Expo Nacional Ferretera in Guadalajara, Mexico. The American Hardware Manufacturers Association (AHMA) will sponsor the USA Pavilion at the event, which is scheduled Sept. 12 to 14.

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Charlevoix Homes files for bankruptcy

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Charlevoix Homes, a Scottsdale, Ariz.-based home builder, has filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, according to a report in the Arizona Republic.

The home builder listed up to $50 million in liabilities to its creditors.

The business is the target of lawsuits by several investors, including real estate agents and private investors. It was founded in 2002, building homes in Phoenix and Glendale, Ariz., and the surrounding suburbs.

Other Arizona companies related to housing have filed for bankruptcy this year, including Gilbert, Ariz.-based Trend Homes, as well as separate entities set up by Charlevoix, including a development called Meridian Hills in south Phoenix.

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