MONTREAL, May 4 /CNW Telbec/ - AbitibiBowater Inc. ("AbitibiBowater" or the "Company") today announced that the Company and certain of its U.S. and Canadian subsidiaries, currently under creditor protection, have filed with courts in Canada and the United States a Debtors' Joint Plan of Reorganization under Chapter 11 of the Bankruptcy Code and CCAA Plan of Reorganization and Compromise in draft form (together, the "Plan"). These filed documents are available on the Company website, www.abitibibowater.com. The Plan is a framework for the final forms expected to be filed in the near term and is not being filed for the purpose of soliciting votes and remains subject to finalization. The Company intends to file with the courts an amended Plan containing more detailed economic terms, along with disclosure documents and proxy materials providing information on the Plan and voting procedures.
A classification scheme and resultant forms of recoveries for all Company creditors is proposed in the Plan. It specifies that non-disputed pre-petition secured, administrative, debtor-in-possession and other priority claims would be paid in full in cash, or satisfied as otherwise agreed, at emergence. Unsecured claims would receive a pro rata share of equity in the reorganized company upon emergence, subject to certain conditions. Details on the extent of recovery for unsecured creditors will be outlined in forthcoming disclosures. The Plan also provides that the Company's current common stock will be cancelled and holders will receive no recoveries.
"The filing of these documents is an important step in AbitibiBowater's creditor protection proceedings and a precursor to a key milestone we intend to reach in the near future with the filing of the Plan's disclosure documents and proxy materials," stated David J. Paterson, President and Chief Executive Officer. "While we recognize the consequences this Plan outlines for our current common stockholders, this result was necessary in order to meet our overall obligations to creditors and effectively restructure for the future."
Before emerging from creditor protection, the Company must secure adequate exit financing and complete efforts to address labor costs and pension issues, as well as satisfy other conditions set forth in the Plan. Prior to emergence, a new Board of Directors will also be designated for the Company. The Plan will ultimately require approval by the creditors and the courts.
More information about AbitibiBowater's restructuring process can be found at www.abitibibowater.com or by calling toll-free 888 266-9280. International callers should dial 503 597-7698.
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 22 pulp and paper facilities and 26 wood products facilities located in the United States, Canada 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 over-the-counter on the Pink Sheets and on the OTC Bulletin Board under the stock symbol ABWTQ.
CAUTIONARY STATEMENTS REGARDING FORWARD-LOOKING INFORMATION AND USE OF THIRD-PARTY DATA
Statements in this press release that are not reported financial results or other historical information of AbitibiBowater Inc. (with its subsidiaries and affiliates, either individually or collectively, unless otherwise indicated, referred to as "AbitibiBowater," "we," "our," "us" or the "Company") are "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. They include, for example, statements relating to our: creditor protection proceedings under chapter 11 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code and the Canadian Companies' Creditors Arrangement Act; debtor in possession financing arrangements and reorganization process; ability to successfully restructure our debt and other obligations; efforts to reduce costs and increase revenues and profitability, including our cost reduction initiatives regarding selling, general and administrative expenses; business outlook; curtailment of production of certain of our products; assessment of market conditions; and ability to sell non-core assets in light of the current global economic conditions and the requirements under the creditor protection proceedings to obtain court approval for certain asset sales; and strategies for achieving our goals generally. Forward-looking statements may be identified by the use of forward-looking terminology such as the words "should," "would," "could," "will," "may," "expect," "believe," "anticipate," "attempt" and other terms with similar meaning indicating possible future events or potential impact on our business or our shareholders.
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 following: (i) risks and uncertainties relating to our creditor protection proceedings including, among other things: (a) risks associated with our ability to: continue as a going concern; stabilize the business to maximize the chances of preserving all or a portion of the enterprise; develop a comprehensive restructuring plan in an effective and timely manner; resolve ongoing issues with creditors and other third parties whose interests may differ from ours; obtain court orders or approvals with respect to motions filed from time to time, including court approvals for asset sales; obtain alternative or replacement financing to replace our debtor in possession financing arrangements and restructure our substantial indebtedness and other obligations in a manner that allows us to obtain confirmation of a plan or plans of reorganization by the courts in order to successfully exit our creditor protection proceedings, especially in light of the current decline in the global economy and credit conditions; renew or extend our current debtor in possession financing arrangements and/or accounts receivable securitization program, as the case may be, if the need to do so should arise; successfully implement a comprehensive restructuring plan and a plan or plans of reorganization; generate cash from operations and maintain cash-on-hand; operate within the restrictions and limitations of our current and any future debtor in possession financing arrangements; realize full or fair value for any assets or business we may divest as part of our comprehensive restructuring plan; attract and retain customers; maintain market share as our competitors move to capitalize on customer concerns; maintain current relationships with customers, vendors and trade creditors by actively and adequately communicating on and responding to events, media and rumors associated with the creditor protection proceedings that could adversely affect such relationships; resolve claims made against us in connection with the creditor protection proceedings for amounts not exceeding our recorded liabilities subject to compromise; prevent third parties from obtaining court orders or approvals that are contrary to our interests; and reject, repudiate or terminate certain contracts; and (b) risks and uncertainties associated with: limitations on actions against any debtor during the creditor protection proceedings and the values, if any, that will be ascribed in our creditor protection proceedings to our various pre-petition liabilities, common stock and other securities; and (ii) risks and uncertainties relating to our business including: industry conditions generally and further growth in alternative media; our capital intensive operations and the adequacy of our capital resources; the prices and terms under which we would be able to sell assets; the relative volatility of the U.S. dollar and the Canadian dollar; the costs of raw materials such as energy, chemicals and fiber; the success of our implementation of additional measures to enhance our operating efficiency and productivity; our ability to obtain fair compensation for our expropriated assets in the province of Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada and the possibility that we could lose any or all of our equity interest in Augusta Newsprint Company ("ANC"). Additional risks that could cause actual results to differ from forward-looking statements are enumerated in Item 1A of our Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2009, as amended, "Risk Factors" ("Item 1A"). We filed the Annual Report on Form 10-K with the U.S. Securities Exchange Commission (the "SEC") on March 30, 2010. All forward-looking statements in this press release are expressly qualified by the cautionary statements contained or referred to in this section and in our other filings with the SEC and the Canadian securities regulatory authorities. We disclaim any obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking information, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.