AbitibiBowater Announces New Board of Directors for Restructured Company
US$ ABWTQ (OTC)
MONTREAL, Sept. 2 /CNW Telbec/ - AbitibiBowater announced today that nine individuals have been selected to serve, along with current Board Chairman Richard B. Evans and President and Chief Executive Officer David J. Paterson, on a newly constituted board of directors. The term of this new board will begin when the Company's Plans of Reorganization receive creditor approval and confirmation by the U.S. and Canadian Courts, and the Company emerges from creditor protection under Chapter 11 of the United States Bankruptcy Code and the Companies' Creditors Arrangement Act (CCAA) in Canada. The designated Non-Executive Chairman of the Board will be Richard B. Evans, continuing AbitibiBowater's current governance practices of having a non-executive serve as Chair and a majority of independent directors.
Under the terms of the Plans of Reorganization and Disclosure Statements filed with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court and the Quebec Superior Court, a search committee - consisting of representatives from the Unsecured Creditors' Committee, the Ad Hoc Unsecured Noteholders Committee and the Company - selected the board of the restructured company. The search committee hired the independent search firm of Russell Reynolds Associates to support the selection process.
The following directors will join Richard Evans and David Paterson on the new board:
Pierre Dupuis (Sutton, QC) is a board member of Norbord Inc. and Brookfield Renewable Power Fund. Previously, Mr. Dupuis was Vice President, Chief Operating Officer of Dorel Industries Inc. Prior to his appointment at Dorel, Mr. Dupuis was President and COO of Transcontinental Inc. and a senior executive with Domtar Inc.
Richard Falconer (Toronto, ON) is Vice Chairman and Managing Director of CIBC World Markets Inc. He joined Wood Gundy in 1970 and previous roles include Financial Analyst, Director of Research and Co-Head Investment Banking. Mr. Falconer is a board member of the Bridgepoint Health Foundation and Chair of their Campaign Cabinet Committee.
Richard Garneau (Montreal, QC) has been a director of AbitibiBowater since June 2010. Mr. Garneau most recently served as President and CEO of Catalyst Paper Corporation. Prior to his tenure at Catalyst, Mr. Garneau was Executive Vice President, Operations at Domtar. He also held a variety of roles at Norampac, Copernic.com, Future Electronics, St. Laurent Paperboard, Finlay Forest Industries and Donohue Inc.
Jeffrey Hearn (Bluffton, SC) retired from International Paper in April 2009 where he served as an officer and held various general business management and technology management positions in the U.S. and Brazil. Prior to his return to the U.S. with International Paper, Mr. Hearn was President and Chief Executive Officer of Weldwood of Canada. Mr. Hearn was Chair of the Paperboard Mfg. and Converting Section of the American Forest Products Association, and former Vice-Chair of the Forest Products Association of Canada. He was also Industry CEO Representative for the BC Forest Products Forest Practices Reform Initiative.
Sarah Nash (New York, NY) is a board member and head of the Audit Committee of Merrimack Pharmaceuticals and director of Knoll Inc., where she serves on the Compensation and Audit Committees. Ms. Nash is also a director of Blackbaud, Inc. and serves on its Nominating and Governance Committee. In August 2005, Ms. Nash retired as Vice Chairman of J.P. Morgan Chase & Co.'s Investment Bank, where she was responsible for many of the firm's client relationships. Prior to these responsibilities, Ms. Nash was the Regional Executive and Co-Head of Investment Banking for North America.
Alain Rhéaume (Outremont, QC) is a Managing Partner at Trio Capital Inc. Most recently he was EVP & President of Fido, with Rogers Wireless - a role he assumed when Microcell was acquired by Rogers. With Microcell Telecom, Mr. Rhéaume was President and Chief Operating Officer and previously served as Chief Financial Officer of Microcell Telecommunications Inc. Previously, Mr. Rhéaume was Associate Deputy Minister of Finance from 1987 to 1992 and Deputy Minister of Finance from 1992 to 1996 in the Quebec Government. Mr. Rhéaume currently serves on the Canadian Public Accounting Board and the Canadian Investors Protection Fund.
Paul Rivett (Toronto, ON) has been a member of the AbitibiBowater board of directors since April 2008. He has been Vice President and Chief Legal Officer of Fairfax Financial Holdings Limited since 2004 and also serves as Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of Hamblin Watsa Investment Counsel Ltd. Mr. Rivett was an attorney at Shearman & Sterling LLP in Toronto, Canada, before joining Fairfax in 2004. Mr. Rivett serves on the boards of Mega Brands Inc. and The Brick Group Income Fund.
Michael Rousseau (Oakville, ON/Montreal, QC) has been Executive Vice President & Chief Financial Officer of Air Canada since October 2007. Previous to Air Canada, he was President of Hudson's Bay Company (HBC). Prior to Joining HBC in 2001, he held senior executive financial positions at other large international corporations, including Moore Corporation in Chicago, Silcorp Limited and the UCS Group (a division of Imasco Limited). Mr. Rousseau currently serves on the board of Consumers' Waterheater Income Fund.
David Wilkins (Greenville, SC) was nominated by President George W. Bush to become the United States Ambassador to Canada in 2005, a position he held until January 20, 2009. Prior to his appointment as Ambassador, Mr. Wilkins practiced law for 34 years in Greenville, South Carolina, and has extensive experience in civil litigation and appellate practice. Mr. Wilkins was elected to the South Carolina House of Representatives in 1980 and served 25 years, culminating in his service as Speaker of the House. Mr. Wilkins is currently a partner at Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough LLP and chairs the Public Policy and International Law practice group. He also serves on the board of Porter Airlines.
"We are pleased to welcome this new board into the AbitibiBowater family," said David Paterson. "This group of individuals represents some of the top business leaders in North America, bringing a broad range of skills and expertise as well as an unwavering commitment to corporate governance and business ethics. We are very thankful for their interest in serving on the board and are confident that the new company will benefit from their vision and depth of experience."
"This has been a challenging period for the Company, and our current board of directors have provided important strategic direction and an uncompromised level of dedication throughout the credit protection process. Their diligence and support has been instrumental to the Company's transformation and restructuring efforts. As we move toward emergence this fall, I would like to once again thank each of them for their unwavering support. On behalf of myself, the Company and all AbitibiBowater stakeholders, we are sincerely grateful," stated Richard Evans.
AbitibiBowater produces a wide range of newsprint, commercial printing and packaging papers, market pulp and wood products. It is the eighth largest publicly traded pulp and paper manufacturer in the world. AbitibiBowater owns or operates 19 pulp and paper facilities and 24 wood products facilities located in the United States, Canada and South Korea. Marketing its products in more than 70 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 over-the-counter on the Pink Sheets and on the OTC Bulletin Board under the stock symbol ABWTQ.For further information: Investors: Duane Owens, Vice President, Finance, 864 282-9488; Media and Others: Seth Kursman, Vice President, Public Affairs, Sustainability & Environment, 514 394-2398, firstname.lastname@example.org