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Pittsburgh-Corning Corp., the bankrupt maker of insulation and glass blocks, has reached a nearly $3.2 billion settlement regarding asbestos lawsuits filed against it and its 50 percent stakeholder, PPG Industries Inc. The U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania in Pittsburgh must approve the settlement between Pittsburgh-Corning, PPG, PPG’s insurers and asbestos claimants. The mounting costs of asbestos lawsuits pushed Pittsburgh-Corning to seek Chapter 11 protection in April 2000. The settlement includes 21 years of cash payments from PPG, plus 1.4 million shares of PPG stock. The payments and shares are currently worth $500 million, according to PPG, the Pittsburgh-based maker of paints and glass products. PPG said it will take an aftertax charge of about $500 million to reflect the cost of the settlement. PPG’s insurers will also make payments totaling $2.7 billion over 21 years. Corning, N.Y.-based Corning Inc., which owns the remaining 50 percent of Pittsburgh-Corning, did not return calls. The settlement will shield PPG and Pittsburgh-Corning from all future asbestos claims for asbestos products the companies manufacture, distribute or sell. “This agreement would enable us to put all our asbestos product claims exposure behind us, most of which is the result of our 50 percent ownership position in Pittsburgh-Corning,” said Raymond LeBoeuf, chairman and chief executive officer of PPG. PPG, which announced the settlement late Tuesday, said Pittsburgh-Corning manufactured asbestos-containing high-temperature pipe insulation from 1962 to 1972. According to the settlement, a 524(g) trust will be established, and all covered claims against both PPG and Pittsburgh-Corning will be channeled to the trust for payments. Copyright (c)2002 TDD, LLC. All rights reserved.

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