Eastman to Keep Batesville Plant as Company Divests

Eastman Chemical Co. of Kingsport, Tenn., said it will retain ownership of its Batesville plant while it divests and restructures a portion of its fine chemicals business.

The Batesville plant employs about 700 people, with more than 100 in technical positions, Eastman says. In 1999, Eastman paid more than $47 million for wages, salaries and benefits in Batesville. The plant covers 2,100 acres.

Eastman has fine chemicals manufacturing facilities in Batesville; Kingsport, Tenn.; Llangefni, Wales and Hong Kong, China.

“We have been unable to come to terms with interested buyers for our entire fine chemicals business,” Earnest W. Deavenport Jr., chairman and CEO, said. “We will now focus on restructuring this business in line with our other specialty chemicals businesses, while we continue to evaluate options with respect to our Wales and Hong Kong operations.”

According to Brian Ferguson, president of Eastman’s chemicals group, the fine chemicals business will be consolidated into the performance chemicals and intermediates business organization. As part of the restructuring, Eastman will retain ownership of the Batesville facility and will continue operating the Tennessee portion of this business, but will continue to evaluate options regarding its operations in Wales and Hong Kong.

“Our Arkansas facility is a modern plant with the latest technology, skilled employees and a supportive community,” Ferguson said. “These fundamental strengths will be a significant advantage in making this facility a successful part of our specialty chemicals businesses.”

Eastman also said that costs related to restructuring the fine chemicals business could result in a charge to earnings later in the year.

Eastman manufactures and markets chemicals, fibers and plastics. The company has about 15,000 employees in 30 countries and had 2000 sales of $5.3 billion.

Eastman Chemical Co. of Kingsport, Tenn., said it will retain ownership of its Batesville plant while it divests and restructures a portion of its fine chemicals business.

The Batesville plant employs about 700 people, with more than 100 in technical positions, Eastman says. In 1999, Eastman paid more than $47 million for wages, salaries and benefits in Batesville. The plant covers 2,100 acres.

Eastman has fine chemicals manufacturing facilities in Batesville; Kingsport, Tenn.; Llangefni, Wales and Hong Kong, China.

“We have been unable to come to terms with interested buyers for our entire fine chemicals business,” Earnest W. Deavenport Jr., chairman and CEO, said. “We will now focus on restructuring this business in line with our other specialty chemicals businesses, while we continue to evaluate options with respect to our Wales and Hong Kong operations.”

According to Brian Ferguson, president of Eastman’s chemicals group, the fine chemicals business will be consolidated into the performance chemicals and intermediates business organization. As part of the restructuring, Eastman will retain ownership of the Batesville facility and will continue operating the Tennessee portion of this business, but will continue to evaluate options regarding its operations in Wales and Hong Kong.

“Our Arkansas facility is a modern plant with the latest technology, skilled employees and a supportive community,” Ferguson said. “These fundamental strengths will be a significant advantage in making this facility a successful part of our specialty chemicals businesses.”

Eastman also said that costs related to restructuring the fine chemicals business could result in a charge to earnings later in the year.

Eastman manufactures and markets chemicals, fibers and plastics. The company has about 15,000 employees in 30 countries and had 2000 sales of $5.3 billion.



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