Why Weyerhaeuser Pines for Willamette

The timber giant sees its smaller rival as key to becoming a world-class power. Too bad the independent company wants to remain so -- at any cost

You have to feel for Weyerhaeuser CEO Steve Rogel. He has engineered a textbook turnaround at the world's third-largest forest-products company since taking the helm three years ago. He has acquired competitors, squeezed costs, boosted margins, and reawakened the sleepy timber giant. Fourth-quarter earnings at the Federal Way (Wash.) company exceeded expectations for the 11th time since he took the top job. Even declining paper prices and rising energy costs, which are typically red flags for the timber business, shouldn't steamroll the company's steady success. Weyerhaeuser Co., a Northwest icon for a century, is back.

To continue reading this article you must be a Bloomberg Professional Service Subscriber.