Eastman Closing Plants, Announces Plans for Spinoff Company
KINGSPORT, TN — Eastman Chemical Co. announced plans to consolidate a portion of its coatings operations in the United States, and said it will close two plants that were included in the company’s 2000 acquisition of McWhorter Technologies Inc. Eastman said production at coatings-resins plants in Portland, OR, and Philadelphia will be phased out and the plants will be closed by the end of October, with production to be transferred to other sites. The two facilities employ a total of 50 people. Eastman said the action is needed to improve efficiencies and is the result of a strategic plan designed to “realize the full earnings potential of our acquisitions.” Separately, Eastman said it will spin off a new specialty-chemicals and plastics company, to be named Eastman Co., as part of its plan to become two independent publicly traded companies by the end of the year. The new company will include Eastman’s coatings, ink and adhesives raw-materials businesses, an Eastman spokesman said. The company said it continues to discuss the selection of a name for its PET plastics and acetate-fibers business, which will comprise the other new company. The creation of the two new companies will be subject to approval of shareholders at a special meeting expected to be scheduled during the fourth quarter, Eastman said.