Resolute, Fibrek Cooperating for Smooth Transition

AbitibiBowater Inc., Montreal, Que., Canada, doing business as Resolute Forest Products, reports that it and Montreal-based Fibrek Inc. are cooperating on an orderly transition to Resolute's effective control. The goal for both parties is to minimize any disruption to Fibrek's key relationships, including its employees, customers, suppliers, and other partners.

Following the filing of Fibrek's first quarter 2012 consolidated interim financial statements with the Canadian securities authorities, it announced that each member of the board had stepped down, effective immediately. Resolute subsequently announced that the principal members of Fibrek's outgoing management team, including Pierre Gabriel Côté, CEO, and Patsie Ducharme, CFO, have agreed to assist in the transition process as special advisors until May 31.

"We're delighted to mark this important step in the integration of Fibrek within the Resolute family," said Richard Garneau, president and CEO. "While there remains work to be done, the spirit of cooperation we've announced today means business as usual for Fibrek's operations, customers, suppliers, and other business partners."

The departing members of Fibrek's board were replaced by the following Resolute nominees: Michel Desbiens, Michel Gagnon, and Daniel Filion, each of whom will serve as outside director, and Richard Garneau (chair), Jo-Ann Longworth, and Jacques P. Vachon. Longworth is Resolute's SVP and CFO, and Vachon is its SVP for corporate affairs and chief legal officer.

This new Fibrek board appointed Garneau president and CEO, Alain Boivin, VP of operations, Longworth VP and CFO, and Vachon VP for legal affairs and corporate secretary. Boivin, Garneau, Vachon, and Longworth are not entitled to additional compensation for serving as either Fibrek officers or directors.

Garneau added that "we've consistently said that we would remain true to the three themes that underlie Resolute's strategy: cost-effective operational excellence, disciplined use of capital, and strategic development. Increasing our capacity in the growing global pulp market by adding these assets is consistent with our strategy. Resolute is uniquely positioned to generate additional value from these assets by completing their integration."

Having acquired approximately 70.9% of the currently outstanding shares of Fibrek as of this past Monday, May 14, Resolute also announced that its offer to acquire the remaining shares of Fibrek will not be further extended and will expire definitively at 5 p.m. EDT today, May 17. As further described in the offer circular and other ancillary documentation related to the offer (as amended), Resolute intends to carry out a second step transaction to acquire the Fibrek shares not deposited in the offer.