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Originally published Monday, December 29, 2008 at 11:02 AM

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Weyerhaeuser drops effort to sell shipping line

Weyerhaeuser has dropped efforts to sell its Westwood Shipping Line, six months after announcing it would shed the seven-ship fleet that carries forest products and containerized cargo.

By Seattle Times business staff

Weyerhaeuser has dropped its efffort to sell the Westwood Shipping Line, six months after announcing it would shed the seven-ship fleet that carries forest products and containerized cargo.

The Federal Way-based company blamed the decision on "weaker shipping markets and tight financing conditions for potential buyers."

"We did not feel that the current market conditions would allow us to recognize a reasonable value for our assets and operations," said Guy Stephenson, Westwood Shipping Line president, in a statement.

Weyerhaeuser said it continues to explore "strategic alternatives" for four regional short line railroads — the DeQueen & Eastern, Columbia & Cowlitz, MSV, and Golden Triangle — used primarily to supply its mills in Arkansas, Oklahoma, Mississippi and Washington.

In 2007 Weyerhaeuser's transportation operations — comprising Westwood and five railroads — generated $223 million of the company's $16.3 billion total revenues.

Weyerhaeuser has sold or spun off a wide range of businesses, from its fine paper division to 114 containerboard, packaging and recycling facilities, as it copes with a sharp downturn in the timber and real estate markets.

Copyright © 2008 The Seattle Times Company

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