Pope & Talbot files for bankruptcy in Canada

Lumber producer Pope & Talbot has filed for bankruptcy protection in Canada, according to a company filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

The company cited a stronger Canadian dollar, coupled with “record low demand for lumber” as leading to the company’s need for protection from creditors.

In its second quarter, Pope & Talbot reported a loss of US$42.9 million compared with losses of US$21.8 million in the same period last year. Sales were US$236.6 million, up from sales of US$213.6 million last year. The company ended the second quarter with US$354.9 million in debt, and its shares were delisted from the New York Stock Exchange in August.

The company also said “high-priced pulp chips and sawdust” and “the high cost of debt service have combined for an untenable business environment.” If the company’s bankruptcy filing is approved, it will begin a restructuring process that could include “the sale of certain or all of the company's assets.”

Based in Portland, Ore., Pope & Talbot produces market pulp and softwood lumber at mills in the United States and Canada.