S.F. family bids for bankrupt logging firm

Dec. 22, 2007 at 10:35 PM

HOUSTON, Dec. 22 (UPI) -- The family that founded The Gap clothing chain has made an offer for a bankrupt California logging company, promising to restore its redwood forests.

Pacific Lumber is now owned by Charles Hurwitz and his company, Maxxam Corp. Hurwitz acquired Pacific Lumber in a heavily leveraged buyout in the 1980s and increased the rate of tree-cutting.

The offer by Don and Doris Fisher of San Francisco to invest $200 million depends on Hurwitz completely giving up Pacific Lumber, the San Francisco Chronicle reported. The Fishers already own Mendocino Redwood Co.

Many environmentalists say that Mendocino has been a responsible logger.

"They are clearly a cut above the other redwood companies," said Paul Mason, a Sierra Club lobbyist.

Pacific Lumber's fate is in the hands of a bankruptcy judge in Texas. On Friday, he gave Maxxam a deadline for presenting a reorganization plan to the court.

An earlier plan, which called for selling off much of Pacific Lumber's remaining holdings to pay debt, was rejected by the creditors.

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