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Eastman Announces Plan to Consolidate Coatings Operations in Europe

Press release from the issuing company

KINGSPORT, Tenn.--Oct. 22, 2001--Eastman Chemical Company today began consultation with the Works Council of Eastman Chemical Jaeger GmbH & Co. KG in an effort to reach agreement to close its operating site in Duesseldorf, Germany. "The decision to pursue discussions to close the plant is the result of our strategy to consolidate manufacturing of our coatings products,'' said J. Brian Ferguson, president of Eastman's Chemicals Group. "This is part of our previously-announced strategy to meet our customers' needs in the most productive and efficient way possible.'' The Duesseldorf plant makes specialty polymers used by formulators of architectural and industrial coatings, printing inks, adhesives, sealants and floor care products. There are about 90 employees at that site. The facility was part of Eastman's acquisition of Ernst Jaeger, Fabrik Chemischer Rohstoffe GmbH & Co. in 1998. Godefroy Motte, president of the Eastman's operations in Europe, said the company will keep employees and customers informed of decisions reached by the Works Council and Eastman. "We expect these discussion will take several weeks, during which time the business activities of Eastman Chemical Jaeger will continue as normal,'' Motte said. Closing of the plant is expected to result in a charge against earnings in the fourth quarter of 2001. Eastman, with headquarters in Kingsport, manufactures and markets chemicals, fibers and plastics. It has approximately 16,000 employees in 30 countries and had 2000 sales of $5.3 billion.

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