US bankruptcy court confirms reorganisation plan of WR Grace

31 January 2011 20:25  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS)--A bankruptcy court confirmed on Monday the reorganisation plan of US-based WR Grace, a milestone that will lead to the catalyst producer's imminent emergence following nearly a decade of bankruptcy protection.

"This is a major step in the process of emerging from Chapter 11," said Fred Festa, chief executive. "It is fair to all the parties and once and for all removes the uncertainty that has been clouding our future."

The next step is for the US District Court to confirm the plan, WR Grace said.

WR Grace filed for bankruptcy protection under Chapter 11 on 2 April 2001. The length of its bankruptcy far exceeded those of Chemtura, LyondellBasell and Solutia.

WR Grace attributed the long bankruptcy to asbestos lawsuits.

At the time of its filing, WR Grace faced 65,656 asbestos lawsuits, which involved 17 property-damage claims and more than 129,000 personal injury claims, the company said.

The reorganisation plan would resolve these claims and lawsuits by establishing trust funds, which will be responsible for handling current and future asbestos claims.

In addition to establishing the trusts, WR Grace would pay the rest of a $44.1m (€32.6m) settlement it reached with the regulators and other groups.

The money would help pay for clean-up costs for several WR Grace sites throughout the US.

WR Grace makes catalysts and building materials.

($1 = €0.74)

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By: Al Greenwood
+1 713 525 2645

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