Mendocino Humboldt Redwood Company, LLC


Ex-governor may manage timber firm bankruptcy

By George Raine
San Francisco Chronicle
March 29, 2008

Former Gov. Pete Wilson will manage the reorganization of Scotia Pacific Co., the timber-holding subsidiary of bankrupt Pacific Lumber Co., if a Bankruptcy Court judge approves its creditors’ plan, which is in a competition with four other proposals.

Wilson, now a principal of Bingham Consulting Group in Los Angeles, would act as the plan agent for the note-holders, who say they are owed $867.2 million in the bankruptcy of Pacific Lumber.

The legal proceeding, in Bankruptcy Court in Corpus Christi, Texas, stems from the inability of Pacific Lumber to continue making payments on debt that Texas financier Charles Hurwitz incurred more than 20 years ago when he took over the Humboldt County company.

At hearings beginning April 8 in Corpus Christi, Judge Richard Schmidt will consider the reorganization proposal by the note-holders, technically known as the indenture trustee; three by the debtors; and a fifth by Marathon Asset Management, a hedge fund, with Mendocino Redwood Co. and the Fisher family of San Francisco.

The note-holders propose to auction the timberlands and require the buyer to ship at least 40 percent of the logs to the Scotia Mill.

Wilson, who was governor of California from 1991 to 1999, said, “We will manage (Scotia Pacific) in accordance with all its existing environmental obligations and economic commitments to the region, and we have built in conditions that enable the company to continue to be operated in this manner in the years to come.”

As plan agent, Wilson would hold powers similar to that of a debtor-in-possession or bankruptcy trustee.

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