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    "The fight is never about grapes or lettuce. It is always about people."
    Cesar Chavez

    :: Sunday, January 22, 2006 ::

    Canfor pushes into U.S. forests - By Jason Kirby, Financial Post
    VANCOUVER - At one time Mack Singleton was a thorn in the side of Canadian lumber producers. As former head of the U.S. lobby group that pushed heavily for softwood duties he once compared Canada's economic system with that of North Korea and Cuba.

    Now Mr. Singleton and South Carolina-based New South Companies Inc., which he co-owns and runs, is a cornerstone of Vancouver-based Canfor Corp.'s acquisition strategy that will probably see Canada's largest forestry company snap up other U.S. industry players.

    On Wednesday, Canfor said it would pay US$205-million for New South in an all-cash transaction, diversifying its business away from British Columbia and giving it access to lumber from a major European producer through a marketing agreement.

    'We've committed to growing with our customers and that is what we'll do,' said Jim Shepherd, CEO of Canfor. 'This is a step for us to do that.'

    The irony is some Canadian forest companies such as Canfor are flush with cash partly because the ongoing softwood lumber dispute has forced them to become more efficient. That money could be used to consolidate the fragmented mom-and-pop lumber industry south of the border.
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