Abitibi-Consolidated and Bowater Provide Merger Update

    MONTREAL, QC and GREENVILLE, SC, Sept. 18 /CNW Telbec/ -
Abitibi-Consolidated Inc. (NYSE:   ABY, TSX: A) and Bowater Incorporated
(NYSE:   BOW, TSX: BWX) today announced continued progress with the U.S.
Department of Justice (DOJ) pertaining to their proposed combination. The
companies reaffirmed their expectation that DOJ approval will be obtained
within the next few weeks. As a result of this timeline, the closing is now
anticipated for early in the fourth quarter.
    The combined company, AbitibiBowater, will produce a wide range of
newsprint and commercial printing papers, market pulp and lumber products. It
will be the eighth largest publicly traded pulp and paper manufacturer in the
world. AbitibiBowater will own or operate 32 pulp and paper facilities and
35 wood product facilities located in the United States, Canada, the United
Kingdom and South Korea. It will also be among the world's largest recyclers
of newspapers and magazines, and will have more third-party certified
sustainable forest land than any other company in the world.

    About Abitibi-Consolidated Inc.

    Abitibi-Consolidated is a global leader in newsprint and commercial
printing papers as well as a major producer of wood products, serving clients
in some 70 countries from its 45 operating facilities. Abitibi-Consolidated is
among the largest recyclers of newspapers and magazines in North America,
diverting annually approximately 1.7 million tonnes of paper from landfills,
and is an industry leader in Canada in terms of forest certification.

    About Bowater Incorporated

    Bowater Incorporated is a leading producer of coated and specialty papers
and newsprint. In addition, the company sells bleached market pulp and lumber
products. Bowater has 12 pulp and paper mills in the United States, Canada and
South Korea. In North America, it also operates one converting facility and
owns 10 sawmills. Bowater's operations are supported by approximately
708,000 acres of timberlands owned or leased in the United States and Canada
and 28 million acres of timber cutting rights in Canada. Bowater operates six
recycling plants and is one of the world's largest consumers of recycled
newspapers and magazines.

    Forward-Looking Statements

    Any statements made regarding the proposed combination between
Abitibi-Consolidated Inc. and Bowater Incorporated, the expected timetable for
completing the combination, the anticipated conclusion of the parties'
discussions with the U.S. Department of Justice, and other statements
contained in this news release that are not historical fact are
forward-looking statements that are based on management's beliefs, certain
assumptions and current expectations. These statements may be identified by
the use of forward-looking terminology such as the words "expects,"
"projects," "intends," "believes," "anticipates" and other terms with similar
meaning indicating possible future events or actions or potential impact on
the businesses or shareholders of Abitibi-Consolidated and Bowater. Such
statements include, but are not limited to, statements about future financial
and operating results, Abitibi-Consolidated's and Bowater's plans, objectives,
expectations and intentions, the markets for Abitibi-Consolidated's and
Bowater's products, the future development of Abitibi-Consolidated's and
Bowater's business, and the contingencies and uncertainties to which
Abitibi-Consolidated and Bowater may be subject and other statements that are
not historical facts. This news release also includes information that has not
been reviewed by either company's independent auditors. There is no assurance
the combination contemplated in this news release will be completed at all, or
completed upon the same terms and conditions described. All forward-looking
statements in this news release are expressly qualified by information
contained in each company's filings with regulatory authorities.
    The following factors, among others, could cause actual results to differ
materially from those set forth in the forward-looking statements: the ability
to obtain required U.S. Department of Justice approval of the combination on
the proposed terms and schedule and without material concessions; the risk
that the businesses will not be integrated successfully; the risk that the
cost savings and other expected synergies from the combination may not be
fully realized or may take longer to realize than expected; and disruption
from the combination making it more difficult to maintain relationships with
customers, employees or suppliers. Additional factors that could cause
Abitibi-Consolidated's and Bowater's results to differ materially from those
described in the forward-looking statements can be found in the periodic
reports filed by Abitibi-Consolidated and Bowater with the SEC and the
Canadian securities regulatory authorities and available at the SEC's internet
site (http://www.sec.gov) and on SEDAR (http://www.sedar.com). Neither
Abitibi-Consolidated nor Bowater undertakes and each specifically disclaims,
any obligation to update or revise any forward-looking information, whether as
a result of new information, future developments or otherwise.

For further information:

For further information: Investors: Abitibi-Consolidated: Francesco
Alessi, Vice-President, Investor Relations and Taxation, (514) 394-2341,
falessi@abitibiconsolidated.com; Bowater: Duane A. Owens, Vice President and
Treasurer, (864) 282-9488; Media: Abitibi-Consolidated: Seth Kursman, Vice
President, Communications and Government Affairs, (514) 394-2398,
seth_kursman@abitibiconsolidated.com; Bowater: Kathleen M. Bennett, Vice
President - Government Affairs, Communications & Environment, (864) 282-9452,

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