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AbitibiBowater Restructuring Approaches
Montreal, Quebec, Canada, 26 October 2010 -- The U.S. Bankruptcy Court is planning to hear arguments on AbitibiBowater's reorganization plans on 05 November 2010. The reorganization plan already has creditor approval in the United States and Canada, and has been approved by the Quebec Superior Court. One subsidiary, Bowater Canada Finance Corp., failed to get creditor approval and would be excluded from the restructuring.

The Canadian Press reports (22 October 2010, Winnipeg Free Press, online) that the restructuring plan allows AbitibiBowater to secure up to USD 2.3 billion in loans minus cash on hand. It has negotiated an asset-backed revolving loan of up to USD 600 million from Citigroup, Barclay's, and JP Morgan. It also had a USD 850 million debt offering and CAD 130 million from a North American Free Trade Agreement settlement with the federal government over a lawsuit filed against Newfoundland and Labrador.

AbitibiBowater said it hopes to earn more than USD 1.5 billion in net profits over the next four years as it emerges as a lower-cost producer better able to absorb market and currency fluctuations. Revenues are forecast to grow by 14.5% to USD 5.34 billion in 2011 from USD 4.66 billion in 2010. They would then remain stable through 2014.

According to Canadian Press, AbitibiBowater has cut 6000 jobs and dramatically reduced its paper and wood capacity by shutting down mills as it prepares to exit creditor protection. As of the end of March, it employed about 11,900 people, mostly in Ontario and Quebec.


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