ABH (NYSE, TSX)
MONTREAL, March 31 /CNW Telbec/ - AbitibiBowater Inc. and AbitibiBowater
Canada Inc. (collectively, the "Companies") announced today that they are not
able to file their annual financial statements, accompanying management's
discussion and analysis ("MD&A") and related CEO and CFO certifications
(collectively, the "2008 Annual Financial Statements") for the financial year
ended December 31, 2008, within the period prescribed for the filing of such
documents under Parts 4 and 5 of National Instrument 51-102 and pursuant to
National Instrument 52-109, namely within 90 days of year-end. The Companies
expect to file the 2008 Annual Financial Statements shortly. AbitibiBowater
Canada is an "exchangeable security issuer" that normally relies on a
statutory exemption set forth in Part 13 of National Instrument 51-102 which
permits it, when the conditions specified therein are satisfied, not to
prepare and file its own financial statements and accompanying MD&A, among
other continuous disclosure documents, and to rely on the financial statements
and MD&A of its parent company, AbitibiBowater.
Despite their efforts, the Companies are not currently in a position to
timely file the 2008 Annual Financial Statements, primarily as a result of the
time required to finalize the accounting for certain transactions, to complete
their accounting analysis, primarily related to goodwill impairment and
long-lived asset impairment, and to reflect and account for the outcome of a
significant pending debt refinancing in the 2008 Annual Financial statements.
The Companies confirm that they intend to satisfy the provisions of the
alternative information guidelines found at sections 4.3 and 4.4 of National
Policy 12-203 for so long as they remain in default as a result of the late
filing of the 2008 Annual Financial Statements. During the period of default,
the Companies will issue bi-weekly default status reports in the form of
further press releases, which will also be filed on SEDAR. The Companies
confirm that there are no insolvency proceedings against them as of the date
of this press release. The Companies also confirm that there is no other
material information concerning the affairs of the Companies that has not been
generally disclosed as of the date of this press release.
The Companies have made a joint application to the applicable Canadian
securities regulatory authorities for a management cease trade order. There is
no certainty that such order will be granted. The applicable Canadian
securities regulatory authorities may issue general cease trade orders against
the Companies for failure to file the 2008 Annual Financial Statements within
the prescribed time period.
AbitibiBowater produces a wide range of newsprint, commercial printing
papers, market pulp and wood products. It is the eighth largest publicly
traded pulp and paper manufacturer in the world. AbitibiBowater owns or
operates 23 pulp and paper facilities and 30 wood products facilities located
in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom and South Korea. Marketing
its products in more than 90 countries, the Company is also among the world's
largest recyclers of old newspapers and magazines, and has third-party
certified 100% of its managed woodlands to sustainable forest management
standards. AbitibiBowater's shares trade under the stock symbol ABH on both
the New York Stock Exchange and the Toronto Stock Exchange.
Statements in this news release that are not reported financial results
or other historical information are "forward-looking statements" within the
meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. They include,
for example, statements about the timing of the filing of the Annual Financial
Statements, and our strategies for achieving our goals generally.
Forward-looking statements may be identified by the use of forward-looking
terminology such as the words "will", "would" and "intends" and other terms
with similar meaning indicating possible future events or potential impact on
the business or stockholders of AbitibiBowater.
The reader is cautioned not to place undue reliance on these
forward-looking statements, which are not guarantees of future performance.
These statements are based on management's current assumptions, beliefs and
expectations, all of which involve a number of business risks and
uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially. These
risks and uncertainties include, but are not limited to, the Companies'
ability to remain in compliance with continued listing standards of the NYSE
and the TSX, the ability to obtain a management cease trade order from the
applicable Canadian securities regulatory authorities and the Companies'
ability to satisfy the provisions of National Policy 12-203. Additional
factors are detailed from time to time in AbitibiBowater's filings with the
Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), including those factors contained in
AbitibiBowater's Current Report on Form 8-K filed on February 9, 2009. All
forward-looking statements in this news release are expressly qualified by
information contained in the AbitibiBowater's filings with the SEC and the
Canadian securities regulatory authorities. AbitibiBowater disclaims any
obligation to update or revise any forward-looking information.