Pacific Lumber Bankruptcy UPDATE

As noted in our last update on the long saga of Pacific Lumber bankruptcy and the impending departure of PL/Maxxam from Humboldt County, Judge Richard Smith, presiding over the bankruptcy case since it was first filed in January 2007, chose the reorganization plan of Mendocino Redwoods Co. over the creditor Noteholders’ plan for an asset auction. In order to give the Noteholders time to respond, he scheduled a hearing a week out to codify his decision. He has now rescheduled that hearing, which was scheduled to take place today, for June 30.

While Judge Schmidt said he would not approve the Noteholders auction plan, that major creditor does have the right to appeal his decision, and also indicated they want to bring claims that would seriously increase economic demands on Mendocino Redwood. Whether the judge will put a cap on those claims, or whether the Noteholders’ appeal could be averted through negotiation with the Mendocino Company and its partner Marathon are issues to be answered.

As somebody important said, and as everybody knows, it ain’t over til it’s over.

Hurwitz does not have a horse in this race any longer, but that is why an auction is so risky: bidders could include everyone and their corporate raider cousin.

We will schedule a get-together soon after the June 30 hearing when we assume the Fisher company Mendocino Redwoods will become the legal owner to discuss what that means for the north coast’s forests, and show a short film about the company’s history in Mendocino County, called Timber Gap. Stay tuned.

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