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Lumber maker gets extension

A federal judge has extended lumber and pulp producer Pope & Talbot Inc.‘s exclusive right to file a Chapter 11 liquidation plan through June 2.

Judge Christopher S. Sontchi of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Wilmington, Del., on Tuesday signed an order giving the company an additional 75 days to file a plan, and solicit plan votes, without the threat of rival plans.

The Portland-based company said it needs the added time to close the sale of its operating units and negotiate terms of a liquidating plan with its creditors.

International Forest Products Ltd. (Interfor) won court permission Jan. 7 to buy three of the company’s lumber mills and related assets for $69 million. On Feb. 12, the court approved the $105 million purchase of Pope & Talbot’s paper business by Indonesia’s PT Pindo Deli Pulp & Paper Mills, an affiliate of Sinar Mas Group.

UPS Inc. may not meet its first-quarter earnings guidance and plans to focus more on growth opportunities overseas because of the uncertain U.S. economy, executives of the world’s largest shipping carrier said Wednesday.

The disclosures came at an investor conference in New York that was broadcast on the Internet.

CEO Scott Davis said the Atlanta-based company still considers its domestic market to be important to its future.

But he noted that U.S. “economic forecasts for this year are uncertain at best.” Davis said the company can’t rely on U.S. package volume growth alone. International growth will become more important in the future, he said.

Johnson & Johnson‘s chairman and CEO received compensation valued at $25.1 million in 2007, a 22 percent increase in a year when the health care company announced plans to cut up to 4 percent of its work force in its biggest restructuring ever.

William C. Weldon, J&J’s chairman and chief executive officer since 2002, received compensation totaling $20.6 million in 2006.

In 2007, he received a base salary of $1.73 million, according to a proxy statement filed Wednesday with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Weldon, 59, received stock awards and options valued at $7.7 million when they were granted in February 2007, plus another $9.19 million in annual performance bonus.

Weldon, who started his career at Johnson & Johnson in 1971, also received other compensation totaling $3.22 million. That included $2.95 million in deferred compensation, $77,625 in contributions to his retirement plan and $179,231 in various perks, from $118,653 for personal use of company aircraft to $29,753 for a car and driver.


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