Abitibi-Consolidated Inc. (ABY-OLD) has retained CIBC World Markets to solicit proxies from its Canadian shareholders heading into the July 26 shareholder meeting. This is clearly an effort -- and a reasonable one at that -- to suppress the recent opposition publicly touted by Third Avenue Management. As there has always been some concern over deal in Canada amongst union groups and minor shareholders, this action should effectively counter any possibility of coordinated and/or increased opposition as the ABY shareholder meeting approaches.
It will again be repeated that its combination with Bowater Inc. (BOW) is clearly in the best interests of both companies' shareholders and claims to the contrary are viewed as attempts to obtain greater short-term benefits.
ABY shareholder approval remains expected on July 26.
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