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Release No. 001-10-2000

ABTco contact
Gerry Soud: 704-948-1453


ABTco, Inc. Reaches Preliminary Settlement
On Hardboard Siding Class Action Lawsuit

Charlotte, N.C. - ABTco, Inc. announced today that it has reached a tentative settlement agreement with plaintiffs in a class action suit regarding siding that it sold under the names Abitibi lap or panel siding and/or ABTco lap or panel siding.

ABTco has entered into this agreement with the primary goal of servicing its customers' concerns quickly and appropriately. A key provision of the settlement is a program to allow eligible claimants to recover the costs of repair or replacement of damaged hardboard siding.

"The program reflects the confidence of ABTco that its siding products will perform," said Joe Kastelic, president of ABTco Building Products. "If the product fails to perform, the purchasers will be compensated for repairs or replacement of damaged product, including both labor and materials, subject to agreed upon exclusions and deductions."

The Court has preliminarily approved the settlement; and it will hold a formal hearing on September 21, 2000 to consider whether the settlement should be given final approval as fair, reasonable and adequate. Class members who do not wish to participate in the settlement may opt-out by notifying class counsel and the notice administrator by July 31, 2000.

"Even though the overwhelming majority of product is performing, the settlement represents a statement of confidence that ABTco can and will stand behind all siding products that the company has sold," said Kastelic.

Homeowners, who believe they have damaged Abitibi/ABTco siding, or who have questions concerning the program details, are encouraged to contact the Abitibi/ABTco Customer Support Office at 800-549-4465. Customers can also visit the website at www.abtcoclaims.com.