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Potlatch board approves split by year’s end

Sat., July 19, 2008

Potlatch Corp. could split into two companies by the end of the year if regulators and the market are accommodating.

The Spokane-based company’s board of directors approved the two-fer Thursday.

Potlatch would continue to operate as a timber real estate investment trust holding 1.7 million acres of timberland in Idaho, Arkansas, Minnesota and Wisconsin, along with four sawmills and one plywood mill.

A new Clearwater Paper Corp. would own all facilities at Lewiston, pulp-and-paper and wood products both. Other plants to be transferred into Clearwater are in Elwood, Ill.; Cypress Bend, Ark.; and Las Vegas.

The headquarters would be in the Spokane area.

Potlatch employs 3,600.

Final approval depends on an Internal Revenue Service ruling the spinoff is tax free, and filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and New York Stock Exchange.


Starbucks closings include North Side store

One Starbucks coffee shop in the Inland Northwest is among nearly 600 company-operated stores that will close in the next year, Starbucks Corp. said.

The store at Market Street and Garland Avenue in northeast Spokane is on the list on the company’s Web site of those to be closed. Starbucks will close 19 stores in Washington and two in Idaho.

The Seattle-based company said 70 percent of the stores to be closed were opened in 2006 or later. The locations set to close include ones that “were not profitable and not projected to provide acceptable returns in the foreseeable future,” Starbucks said.

Closures will affect about 12,000 workers.

Starbucks has 35 stores in the Spokane area and eight in the Coeur d’Alene area.


Citigroup posts loss of $2.5 billion for quarter

Citigroup has become the latest big bank to quell Wall Street’s worries about a financial sector implosion, posting a $2.5 billion second-quarter loss that was smaller than expected. Citi rose nearly 9 percent Friday and helped lift other financial stocks, having joined JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Wells Fargo & Co. in convincing investors that the prognosis for the sector, while gloomy, may not be as dire as the market feared.

Citigroup, the nation’s largest banking company by assets, lost the equivalent of 54 cents a share in the April-June period. In the same time frame last year, the bank earned $6.23 billion, or $1.24 a share.

From staff and wire reports


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