Wellman Inc., a Shrewsbury, N.J., plastics manufacturer that has not posted a profit since 2001, has been further pummeled by a Hurricane Katrina-related plant closing, rising raw material prices and 40 class action suits alleging price fixing.

On Aug. 18, it thought it had found a way to begin to turn itself around: slash its dividend by more than half and look to dump some operations.

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