Industry News

Eastman Agrees to Sell Arkansas Operations

Published on 2006-07-25. Author : SpecialChem

KINGSPORT, Tenn. -- Eastman Chemical Company (NYSE:EMN) announced it has entered into a definitive agreement with Viceroy Acquisition Corporation for the sale of its Arkansas-based wholly owned subsidiary, Eastman SE, Inc., which includes Eastman's Batesville, Ark., manufacturing facility and its related assets and product lines. The sale is for a purchase price of $75 million at closing. Subject to regulatory approval and customary conditions, the sale is expected to close in fourth quarter 2006.

"The Arkansas facility has been an important part of Eastman's business since the late 1970s," said Jim Rogers, president of Eastman Chemical Company and head of the company's chemicals and fibers business group. "However, it does not fit with the company's current strategy of driving growth in our core businesses and on taking full advantage of new growth opportunities. This divestiture will result in a better alignment of company resources with our strategy.

"I especially want to recognize the employees at the Arkansas site who have maintained a focus on meeting customers' needs in a safe work environment as we have worked on this transaction," Rogers said.

Eastman SE manufactures specialty organic chemicals products for the company's performance chemicals and intermediates segment, which is part of the chemicals and fibers business group. The facility has approximately 408 employees and also manufactures and markets biodiesel fuels.

Rogers said that other Eastman sites will continue to manufacture and market products that are used in the global fine chemicals marketplace. These include complex organic molecules for fibers and food and beverage ingredients, as well as personal care and pharmaceutical ingredients. The company also provides custom manufacturing on a customer-by-customer basis.

Eastman manufactures and markets chemicals, fibers and plastics worldwide. It provides key differentiated coatings, adhesives and specialty plastics products; is the world's largest producer of PET polymers for packaging; and is a major supplier of cellulose acetate fibers. Founded in 1920 and headquartered in Kingsport, Tenn., Eastman is a FORTUNE 500 company with 2005 sales of $7 billion and approximately 12,000 employees.

Source: Eastman

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