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AbitibiBowater shareholders approve new Resolute Forest Products name

AbitibiBowater head offices are seen in Montreal.


AbitibiBowater shareholders formally agreed Wednesday to ditch the company's name and legally replace it with Resolute Forest Products.

Approval to change the company's certificate of incorporation was provided at its annual meeting in Charlotte, N.C.

AbitibiBowater has been the company's corporate name since the 2007 merger between Montreal-based Abitibi-Consolidated and U.S.-based Bowater Inc.

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The company began to use Resolute Forest Products as its operating name last October, but required shareholder approval to change its legal moniker as of Thursday.

Resolute will hold the ticker symbol RFP on both the Toronto and New York stock exchanges.

Shareholders also elected eight directors: Richard Evans, Richard Falconer, chief executive officer Richard Garneau, Jeffrey Hearn, Bradley Martin, Alain Rhéaume, Michael Rousseau and former U.S. ambassador to Canada David Wilkins.

On Tuesday, the company said it will use available cash to pay up to $100-million (U.S.) to repurchase as much as 10 per cent of its common stock.

Companies often repurchase their stock as an alternative to paying dividends.

As part of its corporate restructuring, Resolute agreed to suspend dividends payments until the pension fund of its Quebec workers is at least 80 per cent solvent.

Resolute produces newsprint, commercial printing papers, market pulp and wood products at 18 company owned or operated pulp and paper mills and 24 wood products mills in Canada, the United States and South Korea.

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