Québec Superior Court Issues Final Order Approving the Merger of Abitibi-Consolidated and Bowater

    MONTREAL, QC and GREENVILLE, SC, Aug. 7 /CNW Telbec/ -
Abitibi-Consolidated Inc. (NYSE:   ABY, TSX: A) and Bowater Incorporated
(NYSE:   BOW,  TSX: BWX) today announced that the Superior Court of Québec has
issued a final order approving the Plan of Arrangement for the merger of the
two companies. The Court's final approval follows the approval by
Abitibi-Consolidated and Bowater shareholders. The combination remains subject
to review by the United States Department of Justice. Abitibi-Consolidated and
Bowater continue to expect to close the transaction before the end of the
third quarter.
    The combination of Abitibi-Consolidated and Bowater is expected to
generate annualized synergies of at least $250 million.
    The combined company, which will be called AbitibiBowater Inc., will
produce a wide range of newsprint and commercial printing papers, market pulp
and lumber products. It will be the eighth largest pulp and paper manufacturer
in the world. AbitibiBowater will own or operate 32 pulp and paper facilities
and 35 wood products 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 a global leader in sustainable
forest management through independent third-party certification.

    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.

    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
6 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, benefits or synergies of the combination, 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 governmental or third party approvals of the combination on
the proposed terms and schedule and without material concessions; the failure
of Abitibi-Consolidated or Bowater shareholders to approve the combination;
the exercise by a material percentage of Abitibi-Consolidated shareholders of
their dissent rights; 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.

    Additional Information and Where to Find It

    In connection with the proposed combination, AbitibiBowater has filed and
the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has declared effective a
registration statement on Form S-4, which includes a definitive proxy
statement of Bowater, a prospectus of AbitibiBowater and a management
information circular of Abitibi-Consolidated. Shareholders are urged to read
the joint proxy statement/prospectus/management information circular regarding
the proposed combination, and any other relevant documents filed or to be
filed by Abitibi-Consolidated or Bowater because they contain or will contain
important information. Shareholders may obtain a free copy of the definitive
joint proxy statement/prospectus/management information circular, as well as
other filings containing information about Abitibi-Consolidated and Bowater,
without charge, at the SEC's Internet site (http://www.sec.gov) and on SEDAR
(http://www.sedar.com). Copies of the definitive joint proxy
statement/prospectus/management information circular and the filings with the
SEC and the Canadian securities regulatory authorities that will be
incorporated by reference in the definitive joint proxy
statement/prospectus/management information circular can also be obtained,
without charge, by directing a request to Abitibi-Consolidated, 1155 Metcalfe
Street, Suite 800, Montréal, Québec, Canada H3B 5H2, Attention: Investor
Relations Department, (514) 875-2160, or to Bowater, 55 E. Camperdown Way,
Greenville, SC, USA, 29602, Attention: Investor Relations Department, (864)

For further information:

For further information: Investors: Francesco Alessi,
Abitibi-Consolidated, (514) 394-2341, falessi@abitibiconsolidated.com;
Investors: Duane A. Owens, Bowater, (864) 282-9488; Media: Seth Kursman,
Abitibi-Consolidated, (514) 394-2398, seth_kursman@abitibiconsolidated.com;
Media: Kathleen M. Bennett, Bowater, (864) 282-9452

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