MONTREAL — The proposed merger between paper manufacturers Abitibi-Consolidated and South Carolina-based Bowater Inc. has received all necessary regulatory approvals and should close by the end of the month.
The two companies announced Monday they agreed to sell a newsprint mill in Arizona as part of an agreement with the U.S. Justice Department.
Approvals have also been received from the Canadian Competition Bureau, the federal Industry minister and the Quebec Superior Court.
Scotia Capital has been hired to advise on the sale of the mill in Snowflake, Ariz., which has an annual capacity of about 375,000 tonnes.
Abitibi CEO John Weaver said he's looking forward to the quick closing of the transaction creating AbitibiBowater Inc.
''We are eager to begin the work of building a new company that creates long-term value for all of our stakeholders,'' stated Weaver, who will become company chairman.
David Paterson, Bowater's CEO and the chief executive of the new company, said the significant synergies resulting from the merger will better position it to address the challenges of today's marketplace.
''We expect that a more efficient manufacturing platform will enable us to deliver more value through better product quality and improved logistical flexibility,'' he said in a news release.
With US$7.9 billion in annual revenues, AbitibiBowater Inc. will become a new leader in publication papers as the third-largest publicly traded paper and forest products company in North America and the eighth-largest in the world.
It will own or operate 31 pulp and paper facilities and 35 wood product facilities in the United States, Canada, Britain and South Korea.