AbitibiBowater responds to Steelhead and Fairfax financing proposal



    Company seeks support from Bowater's banks to achieve successful outcome

    ABH (NYSE, TSX)
    US$

    MONTREAL, April 2 /CNW Telbec/ - AbitibiBowater Inc. ("AbitibiBowater")
and its Bowater Incorporated ("Bowater") subsidiary today responded to the
announcement by Steelhead Partners, LLC and Fairfax Financial Holdings Limited
(TSX and NYSE:   FFH) regarding their intention to negotiate to arrange an
aggregate of at least $50 million of additional funding to Bowater through
Bowater's U.S. credit facility. The proposed financing is subject to
negotiation of specific terms with the lending syndicate participating in
Bowater's credit facility and execution of definitive agreements.
    "We appreciate Steelhead's and Fairfax's confidence and willingness to
support our restructuring initiatives. AbitibiBowater's efforts will now be
directed at obtaining support from our banks to bring Steelhead and Fairfax
into our lending syndicate," stated William G. Harvey, Senior Vice President
and Chief Financial Officer. "We believe the additional funds proposed to be
made available by Steelhead and Fairfax would provide us with sufficient
short-term liquidity while we continue to address our restructuring of
Bowater's debt. The approval from and support of our banks in this process is
a crucial step to a successful outcome."

    AbitibiBowater produces a wide range of newsprint and 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, AbitibiBowater is also among the
world's largest recyclers of 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.

    Forward-Looking Statements

    Statements in this report 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 proposed additional funding by of Steelhead
and Fairfax through Bowater's bank credit facility and the expected impact on
our short-term liquidity, as well as our overall restructuring plans.
Forward-looking statements may be identified by the use of forward-looking
terminology such as the words "will," "intend," "may," "believe," and "expect"
and other terms with similar meaning indicating possible future events or
potential impact on the business or other stakeholders of the Company and its
subsidiaries. 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 ability to
negotiate definitive agreements for the proposed funding with the lending
syndicate participating in Bowater's credit facility and the condition of the
U.S. credit and capital markets generally.
    Additional factors are detailed from time to time in the Company's
filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Canadian
securities regulatory authorities, including those factors contained in the
Company's Annual Report on Form 10-K, as amended, for year ended December 31,
2007 and Current Report on Form 8-K dated February 9, 2009, each under the
caption "Risk Factors." All forward-looking statements in this report are
expressly qualified by information contained in the Company's filings with the
SEC and the Canadian securities regulatory authorities. The Company disclaims
any obligation to update or revise any forward-looking information.




For further information:

For further information: For Investors: Duane Owens, Vice President,
Finance, (864) 282-9488; For Media: Seth Kursman, Vice President,
Communications and Government Affairs, (514) 394-2398,
seth.kursman@abitibibowater.com


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