KINGSPORT, TN -- Eastman Chemical Co. announced plans to pursue “strategic alternatives” in an effort to improve the profitability of its coatings, adhesives, specialty polymers and inks (CASPI) segment.

The company said it will consider restructuring, divestiture and consolidation moves involving businesses and product lines in the segment that are “performing below acceptable financial levels in their current structure.”

The company said the businesses and product lines to be targeted for restructuring or divestiture include acrylate ester monomers, composites (unsaturated polyester resins), ink and graphic-arts raw materials, liquid resins, powder resins, and textile chemicals.

Brian Ferguson, Eastman chairman and CEO, said actions to boost profitability of the businesses are already under way and will be taken in stages, with completion of the program anticipated within the next eight to 12 months. The businesses targeted employ approximately 2,400 people.

The company said the businesses had 2002 sales of approximately $650 million while recording an operating loss of approximately $75 million. For 2003, the company is forecasting a higher operating loss for the businesses and product lines.