News Releases

    • AbitibiBowater Submits NAFTA Notice of Intent in Response to Illegal Expropriation of Rights and Assets in Newfoundland and Labrador
          ABWTQ (OTC)
          ABH (TSX)
          MONTREAL, April 23 /CNW Telbec/ - AbitibiBowater today filed a Notice of
      Intent to Submit a Claim to Arbitration under the North American Free Trade
      Agreement ("NAFTA") with regards to the expropriation of its assets and rights
      in Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada. It is the Company's position that the
      passing of Bill 75, which expropriates the Company's provincial assets and
      contractual rights to natural resources, by the provincial government was
      arbitrary, discriminatory and illegal. AbitibiBowater is seeking in excess of
      CDN$300 million in direct compensation for the fair market value of the
      expropriated rights and assets, plus additional costs and further relief as
      the Arbitral Tribunal may deem just and appropriate.
          In early December 2008, AbitibiBowater announced various
      capacity-reduction measures, including the permanent closure of its Grand
      Falls mill, as a result of the economic downturn and decline in product
      demand. In retaliation, the province hastily passed Bill 75, without any
      attempt to consult with the Company and without holding any public hearings.
          The Company has asserted in the Notice of Intent that Bill 75
      unquestionably breaches Canada's NAFTA obligations on a number of grounds,
      including among others:- Basis of Expropriation: NAFTA explicitly details the grounds under
            which government expropriation can occur. The criteria for
            expropriation are not met in Bill 75.
          - Fair Compensation: AbitibiBowater is entitled to immediate, full and
            fair compensation. Bill 75 does not ensure payment for the fair market
            value of the expropriated rights and assets.
          - Denial of Justice: Bill 75 purports to strip AbitibiBowater of any
            rights to access the courts, which is independently a violation of
          - Discrimination: AbitibiBowater should be afforded the same rights and
            privileges as all other domestic and foreign investors. Bill 75 is
            retaliatory in nature and discriminates against the Company."AbitibiBowater has been operating in Newfoundland and Labrador for more
      than a century, contributing significantly to the region's economic, social
      and sustainable development," stated David J. Paterson, President and Chief
      Executive Officer. "The nationalization of our assets was unexpected and an
      unnecessary course of action. It came despite our proactive outreach to form a
      joint working group to address and resolve all issues related to our rights
      and assets in the province. The Company remains open to seeking a
      collaborative resolution with the federal and provincial governments."
          The expropriation relates to a broad range of AbitibiBowater's rights in
      Newfoundland and Labrador, including land rights, timber rights, water use
      rights and various other related rights and business partnerships, and these
      rights can be traced back in part to grants by the provincial government and
      its predecessors, as well as to other third-party transactions. In addition to
      the substantial sums it expended to acquire these rights, the Company has
      invested hundreds of millions of dollars in the province over the last
      century, ranging from capital investments in mill operations to road projects
      that have helped build rural Newfoundland.
          Since the Company is incorporated in the state of Delaware and carries
      out business activities in the United States, the expropriation of rights and
      assets represents a breach of Canada's obligations to a U.S. investor under
      Chapter Eleven of NAFTA. The Company has filed this notice as part of the
      dispute resolution mechanism available under NAFTA and will submit the claim
      to arbitration in three months, pursuant to the relevant NAFTA provisions,
      should this matter not be resolved by that date.
          "It is our obligation to defend the interests of our shareholders and
      ensure we receive compensation for the fair market value of the expropriated
      assets, plus additional damages. With this notice, we have taken the first
      step in pursuing legal actions," added David Paterson.
          Media should take note that copies of the Notice of Intent under Chapter
      Eleven of NAFTA are available upon request. The following paragraphs may be of
      interest:NAFTA Provisions Breached:                             Paragraphs 6-7
          Underlying Facts:                                      Paragraphs 8-11
          About AbitibiBowater:                                  Paragraphs 12-17
          AbitibiBowater's History and Rights in the Province:   Paragraphs 18-29
          Additional Investments:                                Paragraphs 30-33
          The Hydro Assets:                                      Paragraphs 34-41
          The Grand Falls Mill Closure Plan:                     Paragraphs 42-51
          The Province's Ultimatum:                              Paragraphs 52-54
          The Province's "Justifications":                       Paragraphs 55-58
          Expropriation:                                         Paragraphs 59-67
          Denial of Justice:                                     Paragraphs 68-69
          Lack of Compensation:                                  Paragraphs 70-71
          NAFTA Violations:                                      Paragraphs 72-86
          Relief Sought:                                         Paragraph 87AbitibiBowater 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 over-the-counter on the Pink Sheets
      under the stock symbol ABWTQ.
      For further information:
      For further information: Investors: Duane Owens, Vice President,
      Finance, (864) 282-9488; Media and Others: Seth Kursman, Vice President,
      Communications and Government Affairs, (514) 394-2398,