Tree Frog Forestry News

Daily Archives: March 22, 2012

Froggy Foibles

Mild winter weather will get bugs buzzing sooner

CBC News
March 21, 2012
Category: Froggy Foibles
Region: Canada

‘If you cue on temperature and we get a couple of freakishly warm days, you come out, start your life, and then get hammered when it gets cold again.”

Stephen Heard, professor of environmental ecology
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Google brings Brazil’s Amazon forest to Street View

Imagine hiking through the Amazon looking for monkeys and tropical birds from thousands of miles away. Now users can do this using Google Maps’ Street View feature.
CNET
March 21, 2012
Category: Froggy Foibles

Most people don’t ever get the chance to float down the Amazon River or walk through the surrounding forest and visit local communities. And for those who do, many parts of the area can’t be visited because they are under the Brazilian government’s protection with restricted public access. Now, Google is making it possible for armchair explorers to experience the Amazon through its Google Maps’ Street View feature. The Web giant announced today, on World Forest Day, that all of the images it has collected over the past several months of the Amazon’s Rio Negro Reserve are now available.

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Business & Politics

Fibrek gets deadline extension

Montreal Gazette
March 21, 2012
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada

MONTREAL – Another deadline extension in the battle for Montreal-based pulp producer Fibrek Inc. Resolute Forest Products Inc. (formerly AbitibiBowater) Wednesday extended the expiry date of its $130-million offer for all Fibrek shares by three days to April 2. Resolute said if half the Fibrek shares are deposited by April 3, and certain other conditions are met, it can take them up. As of last Friday 46.4 per cent of Fibrek’s shares were tendered under Resolute’s offer.

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Economic confidence makes a comeback

Globe and Mail
March 20, 2012
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada

Canada’s economic outlook is brightening, and confidence with it.  Several economists, including those at Royal Bank of Canada, Toronto-Dominion Bank, UBS Securities Canada and the University of Toronto, have recently nudged up their economic growth forecasts for this year. …High commodity prices and strong corporate balance sheets will boost business investment this year, while a stronger U.S. economy will spur demand for Canadian exports such as autos, lumber and machinery, he added. He sees export levels returning to prerecession levels by next year.

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Downie Timber appeals for property tax consideration

Revelstoke Times Review
March 22, 2012
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

It’s been a deeper valley than anyone could have foreseen, but after four hard years it looks as if Revelstoke’s local mill is just beginning the climb back up the other side – but they still need all the help they can get. Representatives from Downie Timber asked city council to keep them in mind when setting taxation rates this year. The appeal comes weeks before council sets final tax rates, and is a continuation of a six-year lobby effort by the mill to have their property taxes reduced.

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Tour highlights innovation at LP

Golden Star
March 22, 2012
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

The facility has been a part of the history of Golden for many decades according to Bryce Piggot who explained it started out as a sawmill before moving onto selling veneer. In the early 1970s the facility added a plywood plant which became a much greater commodity in the late 1980s and 1990s. “They decided to look at the engineered wood side of things. As trees which were available to harvest in North America got smaller you could get fewer 2x10s and 2x12s out of them. The industry said ‘how do you make them again?’ They decided to look at engineered wood,” Piggot said.

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Pole peeler neighbours plot next course of action

Campbell River Mirror
March 20, 2012
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Duncan Bay Road residents, who say a pole peeler plant is destroying their livelihood, held a neighbourhood meeting Sunday night to plot their next move. Tracey Deller, owner of Blue Spruce Home Park, hosted nearly 50 neighbours to discuss the pole plant at 5301 Duncan Bay Road. Homeowners living near the plant say the pole peeler emits a high-pitch screech as the debarker peels the logs.

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Babine Forest Products EI payments still being processed

Burns Lake District News
March 21, 2012
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

HRSDC said to Lakes District News that approximately 155 Babine Forest Products employees are currently receiving Employment Insurance payments. Almost three months after the Jan. 20, 2012 explosion and fire, some claims are yet to be finalized. As for the claims being fast tracked, HRSDC said, “All Employment Insurance time frames and regulations applied to these claims.” This is contrary to MLA John Rustad’s earlier statement… that Babine Forest Products workers Employment Insurance payments were being fast tracked.

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Alberta’s forestry industry realities – Sell, sell, sell

March 22, 2012
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

For years, Craig Corser has watched Alberta’s forestry industry struggle. Lumber prices in the U.S. have remained low since 2005, and suppliers are struggling to find buyers in a shrinking market. Profit margins are thinner than ever. For many companies, the days of major growth are nothing more than a memory… But since the collapse of the U.S. housing market, Corser has faced the unprecedented need to expand his product base and seek out new clients. “We still rip, strip, saw and plane,” he says, but the industry has witnessed an enormous departure from the way business used to be done. “There’s very little left of the [original] Alberta industry.”

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Pension Fears at Corner Brook Mill

VOCM.com
March 21, 2012
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

Concerns are growing among retirees from the former Bowater operation and the current workers of Kruger’s pulp and paper mill in Corner Brook. There are fears pensions may be reduced for as many as 600 present and future retired workers. The importance of the issue is being heightened by ongoing rumours of future layoffs, possible bankruptcy and a possible 40 per cent reduction in benefits.

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Clenergen to Partner With Niskibi Power Corporation

MarketWatch (press release)
March 21, 2012
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

NEW YORK — Clenergen Corporation CRGE -4.26% today announced that it has reached an agreement with Niskibi Power Corporation to supply up to 1,000 MW of renewable energy in partnership with the First Nations communities in Ontario and elsewhere in Canada. The joint venture will capitalize on Clenergen’s exclusive relationships with biomass gasification and wind turbine manufacturers to supply power generation equipment significantly below going North American market prices

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Big project to keep company town thriving

North Bay Nipissing
March 21, 2012
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

TEMISCAMING – It seemed the whole town of Temiscaming was buzzing on Friday, not just because Premier Jean Charest was in to visit, but because a big investment was securing the local economy for the foreseeable future. The announcement tightens the bond between the town on the Ottawa River and forestry company Tembec, with a proposed $310 million to be invested over the next three to four years. “We are betting the farm on Temiscaming,” said Tembec President and CEO Jim Lopez…

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Quebec bets on resource boom

The Province
March 21, 2012
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada
QUEBEC — The Quebec government is wielding a heavier hand in the province’s economy, forcing every business with more than five people to institute employee retirement savings programs and grabbing higher equity stakes in mining and hydrocarbon projects… Quebec has some 25 active mines producing iron, gold and other minerals. Energy, mining and forestry together represented 9.4% of Quebec’s GDP and 156,000 jobs as of 2010. That figure is expected to balloon in coming years and with it, the province will experience a cultural shift that comes with being a natural resources producer.

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Kadin: Indonesian Timber Ready for New EU Rules

Jakarta Globe
March 21, 2012
Category: Business & Politics
Region: International

The Indonesia Chamber of Commerce and Industry said the country’s certification system on timber would comply with a new regulation to be imposed by the European Union next year. The certification system would enable the country’s timber companies to gain global recognition, Suryo Bambang Sulistyo, chairman of the group known as Kadin, said on Wednesday. “It will give a competitive edge,” the chairman said at a forestry seminar.

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Wood, Paper & Green Building

Engineered timber products seen as key to export growth

Radio New Zealand
March 22, 2012
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

The Forest Wood Industry is aiming to triple its roughly $4.5 billion export market over the next decade, led by the development of stronger timber products that are more resistant to earthquake damage. About 70% of forest production is exported and nearly half that goes overseas as raw logs, while the wood processing sector has been hard hit by closures and job losses in recent times. Forest Owners Association president Bill McCallum says the plan’s targeting export earnings of $12 billion by 2022.

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Gorgeous Wood-Wrapped Alesia Museum Opens in Burgundy, France

Inhabitat
March 21, 2012
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

The gorgeous wood-wrapped Alésia Museum visitor’s center opened this past weekend in Burgundy, France. Designed by Bernard Tschumi Architects, the cylindrical volume is clad with a herringbone patterned double skin and a green roof. The museum marks the spot of a historic battle between the Romans, led by Julius Caesar, and the Gauls under Vercingetorix, over 2,000 years ago.

 
Check out the photo gallery in this story!

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New construction system for wood apartment buildings in Finland

Market share of wood apartment buildings in Finland is expected to increase rapidly.
Invest in EU
March 20, 2012
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

A new type of laminated wood beam called Timperipalkki will be used in the construction of two wood apartment buildings in Lieto, south-western Finland. The Finnish company Ojarannan Rakennus Oy will start work on the four-storey buildings this Spring using a construction system based on the Timperipalkki beam that has been developed at the Turku University of Applied Sciences in cooperation with Yläpuu Oy and Markku Karosen Saha.

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American Hardwood Export Council eyes prospects within growing interior design and construction sector in Bahrain

AMEinfo
March 22, 2012
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

The American Hardwood Export Council (AHEC), the international trade association for the American hardwood industry, has announced its participation at the upcoming ‘gulfBID’ exhibition in Bahrain, which will run April, 2012 at the Bahrain International Exhibition Centre (BIEC). The announcement follows 70% growth in exports of American hardwood lumber to Bahrain with over $340,000 worth of lumber being shipped into the Kingdom in 2011.

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Forestry

Oliver has no regrets about ‘radical’ environmentalists letter

Victoria Times Colonist
March 21, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

VANCOUVER — The federal minister who recently slagged “radical” environmentalists was in Vancouver Wednesday, preaching a gospel of growth through resource extraction. Natural Resources Minister Joe Oliver, making similar appearances this week in Regina, Winnipeg and Sudbury, Ont., is warning that thousands of Canadian jobs are at stake because of long delays flowing from a needlessly complex regulatory system. “New, rapidly growing economies are looking for our energy, minerals and forest products,” declared Oliver.

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Agroforestry workshop to look at forestry and farming

Prince George Citizen
March 21, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

An initial step towards establishing a “community of practice” that combines forestry and farming into a single discipline will be held March 29 when a day-long workshop on agroforestry is held at the Railway and Forestry Museum. Long a practice in the southern hemisphere, but still uncommon North America, agroforestry is the “planned integration of trees and short-rotation crops,” said Melanie Karjala, general manger of Resources North, which is hosting the event. “Alley cropping,” “silvopasture,” and “forest farming” will be among the topics discussed as experts give presentations in the morning and discussion groups are held in the afternoon.

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Scientists to spray for longhorn beetle near Halifax

CBC News
March 21, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

Federal scientists are about to begin an aerial forest-spraying program outside Halifax, which they hope will slow the spread of the brown spruce longhorn beetle. Twenty-seven hectares of forested land behind the Department of National Defence’s Bedford Rifle Range will be sprayed starting in May with a synthetic chemical pheromone designed to disrupt the beetle’s mating habits. It’s the same beetle responsible for destroying thousands of trees in Halifax’s Point Pleasant Park, first confirmed in 1999. The destructive beetle has slowly spread to other areas in Nova Scotia.

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DNR forest fire ground crew disbanded

CBC News
March 21, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

The Helitech unit, used to fight forest fires from the ground, has been disbanded by the provincial Department of Natural Resources. There are five helicopters stationed in Shubenacadie. During a forest fire, while those choppers work from the air, the Helitech crew of five worked on the ground. But according to the department, trained firefighters should be spread around the region.

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DeFazio releases draft O&C lands map

Coos Bay World
March 21, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

U.S. Rep. Peter DeFazio, D-Springfield, today released draft maps forecasting the division of the O&C lands under the bipartisan O&C Trust, Conservation, and Jobs Proposal.
In February, DeFazio, and Reps. Greg Walden, R-Hood River, and Kurt Schrader, D-Canby, publicly released a balanced, long-term O&C plan that would provide revenue to struggling rural Oregon communities, create jobs, and provide protections for the environment.

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DeFazio’s ‘timber trust’ removes protections

Guest Viewpoint
The Register Guard
March 21, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

In his March 2 guest viewpoint Rep. Peter DeFazio neglects to fully explain the implications of his draft bill, “The O&C Trust, Conservation, and Jobs Act.” As conservation organizations with millions of members and supporters in Oregon and across the country…we have grave concerns about this bill… If enacted, DeFazio’s bill would turn over 1.5 million acres of Western Oregon BLM lands — lands that belong to all Americans — to a “timber trust.” This trust would be managed for the sole purpose of maximizing revenues from logging to support the budgets of the 18 O&C counties in Western Oregon

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Rain needed to reduce wildfires, pollen

Times Daily
March 22, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

Firefighters around the Shoals are hoping predictions for heavy rain today come to fruition and douse forest fires, some of which have been burning for three days. “We need the rain. We need it bad,” said Coleen Vansant, spokesman for the Alabama Forestry Commission. “If we get some rain, maybe it will give us a break from wildfires for a couple of days.” A wildfire north of Waterloo has scorched more than 700 acres since Monday.

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An agreement no one agrees on: Tasmanian forest solution in crisis

The Conversation
March 21, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: International

The Tasmanian forests agreement is hanging by a thread. Political parties have reverted to their old adversarial ways, people who should be getting a say have been excluded from the process, and the large corporations involved have been unaccountable. Is it too late to save this historic agreement? In August 2011, the Tasmanian State and Federal Governments signed the Tasmanian Forests Intergovernmental Agreement (IGA) to provide more than a quarter of a billion dollars in finance to restructure Tasmania’s ailing forest industry.

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Fires Rage in Far East Leopard Reserve

The Moscow Times
March 22, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: International

A fire in the Far East region of Primorye has destroyed 3,700 acres of forest in a federal nature reserve home to rare Amur leopards, RIA-Novosti Wednesday. …the fires are supposed to be put out by either local administrations or employees of the nearest fully protected reserve, Kedrovaya Pad. …Greenpeace has a firefighting expedition combatting the blaze, and a spokesman for the organization said the cooperation of regional and federal emergency forces were necessary to fight the fire.

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Covers coming off forest peace report

ABC News Australia
March 22, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: International

Pressure is mounting on the Tasmanian Government to release a long-awaited report on whether the forest peace deal is achievable. A panel of experts has been assessing the conservation value of 572,000 hectares of native forests which environmentalists want protected. It is understood their findings will be presented to peace talks signatories in Hobart today.

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State to Repossess ‘Invaded’ Forest

AllAfrica.com
March 22, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: International

THE government will repossess land illegally allocated to investors at Sao Hill forest reserve in Mufindi District, Iringa Region and take to task officials who were involved in the transactions. The Minister for Natural Resources and Tourism, Mr Ezekiel Maige, made the announcement after learning that some officials in the ministry had illegally allocated the reserved land to investors and individuals.Mr Maige told the ‘Daily News’ in a telephone interview that people had invaded part of 90,000 hectares of Sao Hill.

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Xerox: we no longer buy from Asia Pulp & Paper

Mongabay.com
March 21, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: International

Xerox no longer buys paper products from Asia Pulp & Paper (APP), a Singapore-based paper giant under fire for its forest management practices in Indonesia, according to a statement published on the company’s official blog late last week. Xerox made the announcement in response to a Greenpeace investigation that linked APP to illegal harvesting of ramin, a protected tree species. “We do not currently source from AP&P, and there are no Xerox products in the marketplace coming from AP&P,” wrote Karen Arena, vice president of global PR for Xerox, in a blog post.

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Fascinating facts about trees in Ireland

The Kerryman
March 21, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: International

HERE is some interesting information on trees from the Tree Council’s former chairperson John Mcloughlin from Cahersiveen. The pine forests in Ireland would have grown on the mountains over 5,000 years ago. However, they were gone by early Christian times in the second half of the first millennium. This is because around that time the climate got colder and wetter and the bogs began to grow, swamping out these forests. We can still find the remains of those ancient pine forests today buried in the peat of our blanket bogs.

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Atop a Volcano, the Ages of Red Pines

Scientist at Work
New York Times (blog)
March 21, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: International

Kevin Anchukaitis, an assistant research professor at the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory at Columbia University, is conducting a tree-ring study to analyze drought patterns in Guatemala. Earlier blogs include:

  • Climbing a volcano in search of old trees
  • The tools of tree-ring research
  • Reading between the rings

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Treat Illegal Logging Like Organised Crime, Urges World Bank

Inter Press Service
March 21, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: International

WASHINGTON – With illegal loggers clearing the equivalent of a football field of the world’s most valuable forests every two seconds, local and international law enforcement systems should target the criminal operations that profit most from the trade, according to a new report released here Tuesday by the World Bank. Criminal justice personnel should deploy the same tools they use to fight drug trafficking and money laundering to investigate, prosecute and punish the kingpins behind large-scale illegal logging, according to the 56-page report.

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Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy

Province puts up 40% of cost of biogas plant at pulp mill

Slave Lake Pulp already got $5M toward $25M project from Alberta emissions tariffs
Edmonton Journal
March 21, 2012
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: Canada, Canada West

EDMONTON – Slave Lake Pulp will receive $10 million from the province toward its new, $25-million biogas facility that will turn waste into electricity. The system should be operating by late 2014. It will treat a portion of the mill’s processed pulp waste and then convert the biodegradable materials into a gaseous fuel called biogas that will be used to generate about seven megawatts of power, reducing demand on the provincial electricity grid by the same amount. The mill, owned by B.C.-based West Fraser Mills, received $5 million for the same project last year from the Climate Change and Emissions Management Corp., which uses tariffs from large carbon dioxide emitters to support green projects across the province.

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North Thompson looks at green-energy options

Kamloops Daily News
March 21, 2012
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: Canada, Canada West

The federal government is pumping more funding into the North Thompson to offset the impact of mountain pine beetle. A second phase of the project will develop and share information needed by other rural communities for the same purposes. …A total of $180,000 will be funneled through the Southern Interior Pine Beetle Coalition to look at potential development of green-energy projects in the region.

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SmallWood 2012 Conference: Forest Restoration for a New Economy

WebWire (press release)
March 21, 2012
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: United States, US West

The SmallWood 2012 conference held May 1-3, 2012, in Flagstaff, Arizona, is about finding technical and economical solutions to the everyday challenges in your woody biomass operation. For program agenda/ hotel information, see www.forestprod.org/smallwood.

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How Much Carbon Do California’s Forests Hold?

NPR.org
March 21, 2012
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: United States, US West

The amount of carbon any given place can store depends on the type of ecosystem and how its managed. The U.S. Geological Survey is developing a series of reports on how much carbon and other greenhouse gases the nation’s ecosystems hold. Trees and plants, soils and rivers, farms and wetlands all sequester carbon to greater or lesser extents. But how much? And how might that number change in the future? That’s the crux of the USGS study, which was initiated by the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 [page 223 of the PDF]. (There’s a simultaneous study, also by the USGS, to assess geologic carbon sequestration).

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Groups file suit against Nippon co-generation permit

Sequim Gazette
March 21, 2012
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: United States, US West

Seven peninsula environmental organizations have jointly filed suit in Thurston County Superior Court to stop the progress of the wood-burning co-generation plant now being built at the Nippon Paper Industries’ paper mill in Port Angeles. In the suit they say the air permit issued by the Olympic Region Clean Air Agency fails to require Best Available Control Technology (BACT) “for at least three health-damaging components” that will be released by the burner.

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Dominion Gets Approval to Convert Plants to Biomass, Wants Offshore Wind Lease

Williamsburg Yorktown Daily
March 21, 2012
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: US East, United States

Dominion Virginia Power is continuing its move toward using alternative fuels, recently receiving approval to convert three coal plants to biomass facilities and also expressing interest in picking up leases for future offshore wind turbines. The State Corporation Commission announced late last week that it has approved a request by Dominion to convert three coal-fired power stations in Altavista, Hopewell, and Southampton County into biomass-burning facilities. 

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General

Fibrek buyers up to bat

National Post
March 20, 2012
Category: Uncategorised
Region: Canada East, Canada

Given that spring training is underway, baseball serves as a good metaphor for what’s underway at Fibrek Inc., a Quebec-based company that’s the subject of two takeovers, one at $1 a share from AbitibiBowater that’s hostile and another from Mercer International at $1.30 a share that’s friendly. Among the lines that come to mind are: It ain’t over till it’s over and three strikes and you’re out. So does the Abbott and Costello skit: Who’s on first? The Fibrek situation is potentially abusive to minority shareholders and particularly messy, but that mess may be sorted out Thursday before three justices in the Quebec Court of Appeal… At this juncture, the score line between the two sides is 1-1.

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