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SEC Completes Review of Proxy Materials for Proposed Abitibi-Consolidated and Bowater Combination
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Montreal, Quebec, Canada, and Greenville, South Carolina, USA, 22 June 2007 -- /PRNewswire/ -- Abitibi-Consolidated Inc. (NYSE:ABY)(NYSE:TSX:)(NYSE:A) and Bowater Incorporated (NYSE: BOW) announced today that the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has completed its review of the joint proxy statement/prospectus/management information circular in connection with their proposed business combination.

As a result, the definitive joint proxy statement/prospectus/management information circular and related materials will be mailed to shareholders of both companies and to shareholders of Bowater Canada Inc. (TSX: BWX) early during the week of 25 June 2007.

The special meeting of Abitibi-Consolidated shareholders will be held at the Windsor, Salon Windsor, 1170 Peel Street, Montreal, Quebec, at 10:00 a.m. Eastern Time on 26 July 2007. As previously announced, shareholders of record at the close of business on 20 June 2007, will be entitled to receive notice of and vote at the Abitibi-Consolidated meeting.

The annual meeting of Bowater stockholders will be held in the Peachtree Auditorium of the Bank of America Plaza, 600 Peachtree Street N.E., Atlanta, Georgia, at 10:00 a.m. Eastern Time on 26 July 2007. As previously announced, stockholders of record at the close of business on 08 June 2007, will be entitled to receive notice of and vote at the Bowater meeting.

In connection with the proposed combination of Abitibi-Consolidated and Bowater, Bowater Canada - an exchangeable share Canadian public subsidiary of Bowater - will also hold a special meeting of its shareholders to approve certain amendments to Bowater Canada's articles required to facilitate and implement the combination. The special meeting of Bowater Canada shareholders will be held 25 July 2007, at Fairmont The Queen Elizabeth Hotel, Salon St-Laurent, 900 Boulevard Rene-Levesque West, Montreal, Quebec, at 9:30 a.m., Eastern Time. As previously announced, shareholders of record at the close of business on 20 June 2007, will be entitled to receive notice of and vote at the Bowater Canada meeting.

The combined company, which will be called AbitibiBowater Inc., will be the third largest publicly traded paper and forest products company in North America and the eighth largest in the world. AbitibiBowater will own or operate 32 pulp and paper facilities and 35 wood product facilities located mainly in eastern Canada and the southeastern United States. It will be among the world's largest recyclers of newspapers and magazines.

About Abitibi-Consolidated Inc.

Abitibi-Consolidated is a global leader in newsprint and commercial printing papers as well as a major producer of wood products, serving clients in some 70 countries from its 45 operating facilities. Abitibi-Consolidated is among the largest recyclers of newspapers and magazines in North America, diverting annually approximately 1.7 million metric tons of waste paper from landfills. It also ranks first in Canada in terms of total certified woodlands. Abitibi-Consolidated shares are traded on the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX: A) and on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE:ABY).

About Bowater Incorporated

Bowater Incorporated is a leading producer of coated and specialty papers and newsprint. In addition, the company sells bleached market pulp and lumber products. Bowater has 12 pulp and paper mills in the United States, Canada, and South Korea. In North America, it also operates one converting facility and owns 10 sawmills. Bowater's operations are supported by approximately 763,000 acres of timberlands owned or leased in the United States and Canada and 28 million acres of timber cutting rights in Canada. Bowater operates six recycling plants and is one of the world's largest consumers of recycled newspapers and magazines.

Additional Information and Where to Find It

In connection with the proposed combination, AbitibiBowater has filed and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has declared effective a registration statement on Form S-4, which includes a definitive proxy statement of Bowater, a prospectus of AbitibiBowater, and a management information circular of Abitibi-Consolidated.

Shareholders are urged to read the joint proxy statement/prospectus/management information circular regarding the proposed combination, and any other relevant documents filed or to be filed by Abitibi or Bowater. Shareholders may obtain a free copy of the definitive joint proxy statement/prospectus/management information circular, and other filings containing information about Abitibi-Consolidated and Bowater, without charge, at the SEC's Internet site (http://www.sec.gov/) and on SEDAR (http://www.sedar.com/).

Copies of the definitive joint proxy statement/prospectus/management information circular and the filings with the SEC and the Canadian securities regulatory authorities that will be incorporated by reference in the definitive joint proxy statement/prospectus/management information circular can also be obtained, without charge, by directing a request to Abitibi-Consolidated, 1155 Metcalfe Street, Suite 800, Montreal, Quebec, Canada H3B 5H2, Attention: Investor Relations Department, (514) 875-2160, or to Bowater, 55 E. Camperdown Way, Greenville, SC, USA, 29602, Attention: Investor Relations Department, (864) 282-9473.

Participants in the Solicitation

Abitibi-Consolidated, Bowater, and their respective directors and executive officers and other persons may be deemed to be participants in the solicitation of proxies in respect of the proposed combination.

Information regarding Abitibi-Consolidated's directors and executive officers is available in Abitibi-Consolidated's Annual Information Form for the year ended 31 December 2006, filed on SEDAR by Abitibi-Consolidated on 15 March 2007 (which was filed with the SEC on 15 March 2007, on Form 40-F), and the management proxy circular with respect to Abitibi-Consolidated's 2007 Annual Meeting of Shareholders filed by Abitibi-Consolidated on SEDAR on 05 April 2007 (which was filed with the SEC on 05 April 2007, on Form 6-K).

Information regarding Bowater's directors and executive officers is available in the Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended 31 December 2006, filed with the SEC by Bowater on 01 March 2007, as amended by Amendment #1 filed with the SEC by Bowater on 30 April 2007, and in the definitive proxy statement with respect to Bowater's 2007 Annual Meeting of Stockholders which is included in the registration statement on Form S-4 filed by AbitibiBowater on 20 March 2007, as amended, and will be filed with the SEC on Schedule 14A.

Other information regarding the participants in the proxy solicitation and a description of their direct and indirect interests, by security holdings or otherwise, is contained in the definitive proxy statement/prospectus/management information circular and other relevant materials filed or to be filed with the SEC and the Canadian securities regulatory authorities.

Source: Abitibi-Consolidated Inc.


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