The board of

Willamette Industries

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has given the company's management the green light to negotiate a possible acquisition of



building products business.

Willamette pointed out that there are no assurances that a transaction between the wood products companies will be completed. The Georgia-Pacific building products business had revenue of about $7 billion in 2000.

Willamette has been fighting off a takeover attempt by fellow forest products concern


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for more than a year. Weyerhaeuser has repeatedly extended its $50-a-share hostile bid for Willamette and now claims to have about 52 million Willamette shares.

In premarket Instinet trading, Willamette was dropping 5.2% to $44.