Mr. Remi Lalond reports
RESOLUTE ANNOUNCES $1/SHARE SPECIAL DIVIDEND AND $50 MILLION IN LUMBER INVESTMENTS
Resolute Forest Products Inc. has declared a special cash dividend of $1 per share of common stock, payable on July 7 for holders of record at the close of business on June 28. The company also announced additional capital investments of $50-million in its wood product operations to support its continued growth, and it confirmed the repayment of all amounts outstanding under its revolving and term credit facilities, reducing debt by $180-million in the second quarter.
"The cash generated with our lumber platform in these
strong lumber markets provides the opportunity to share benefits directly with shareholders," said Remi G. Lalonde, president and chief executive officer. "We're also enhancing long-term value by improving
our company fundamentals with investments in high-return and quick-payback lumber projects in three key regions for Resolute: the Abitibi in Quebec, Northwestern Ontario and the southeast [United States]. What's more, we've removed a material amount of debt from the balance sheet with the further $180-million repayment in Q2, leaving, as our only remaining debt, the $300-million of unsecured 4.875 per cent senior notes due 2026, and our liquidity stands at around $850-million. As we improve the competitiveness of the strongest parts of our business, today's announcement will benefit shareholders, employees, and a wide range of community and business partners. As demonstrated with this announcement, our intention is to maintain a balanced approach to capital allocation, using our free cash flow to generate value for shareholders and build a stronger company while driving economic activity in the communities where we operate."
The additional $50-million in wood product investments includes:
$22-million to modernize equipment at the Senneterre (Quebec) sawmill, which will enhance overall efficiency and productivity of the Abitibi regional operations;
$13-million at the Thunder Bay/Fort William First Nation (Ontario) sawmill to increase capacity by up to 40 million board feet with new equipment and modifications to the fibre flow;
$15-million at the Glenwood (Arkansas) and Cross City (Florida) sawmills to support fibre optimization and overall efficiency. The Cross City investment will also increase capacity by up to 20 million board feet.
Each of these projects will serve to generate additional value from Resolute's wood product segment across market cycles. The improvements at the U.S. sawmills build on the previously announced investments associated with the restart of the El Dorado (Arkansas) sawmill. The company anticipates completing all the projects by the end of the third quarter of 2022. Accordingly, it is raising its 2021 capital investments guidance from $100-million to $125-million.
About Resolute Forest Products Inc.
Resolute Forest Products is a global leader in the forest product industry with a diverse range of products, including market pulp, tissue, wood products and papers, which are marketed in over 50 countries. The company owns or operates about 40 facilities, as well as power generation assets, in the United States and Canada. Resolute has third party certified 100 per cent of its managed woodlands to internationally recognized sustainable forest management standards. The shares of Resolute Forest Products trade under the stock symbol RFP on both the New York Stock Exchange and the Toronto Stock Exchange.
Resolute has received regional, North American and global recognition for its leadership in corporate social responsibility and sustainable development, as well as for its business practices.
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