said a preliminary count of shareholders' votes showed that
, which launched a hostile takeover bid for the company earlier this year, has won the right to place three members on the Willamette board.
Willamette, a paper products company based in Portland, Ore., said that Weyerhaeuser's nominees won by a slim margin, while neither company's selections gathered a majority of the votes. Thomas Luthy, Robert Lane and Evelyn Cruz Sroufe received votes totaling 48.35 million shares, or 44.1% of Willamette's shares outstanding. Willamette's nominees, President and Chief Executive Duane McDougall, Kenneth Hergenhan and Robert Smelick, won about 42.7% of the voting shares.
Preliminary results have to be reviewed by the companies and certified before they are official.
Some analysts had predicted that a win by Weyerhaeuser could force Willamette into negotiations, but the target company wasn't budging. "This election has done nothing to change our view that Weyerhaeuser's $50 per share offer is woefully inadequate," Willamette said in a statement. "We believe that we can generate greater value on our own, and we will fight for as long as it takes on behalf of our shareholders to deliver this value. The onus is still on Weyerhaeuser to make a real offer or drop its hostile bid."
Shares of Willamette gained 9 cents, or 0.2%, to $49.59, while Weyerhaeuser rose $1.05, or 1.9%, to $56.02 in recent
New York Stock Exchange
activity. Last week, Weyerhaeuser said it expected to
beat second-quarter earnings expectations.