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    Eastman releases further details for restructuring fine chemicals business

    As part of the previously announced restructuring of its fine chemicals business, Eastman Chemical Company today announced that it will eliminate approximately 100 positions related to that business. This action is being taken to reduce costs in line with the competitive business environment and to position the business for future growth. These reductions will be achieved through a combination of redeployments within the company, as well as voluntary and involuntary separations to be effective during third quarter 2001.
    These reductions will take place at Eastman manufacturing facility in Batesville, Ark., which currently employs approximately 675 people. Eligible employees will receive separation benefits based on their length of service.

    This is a difficult decision because it affects people who have made valuable contributions to the company, but one that is necessary in today’s business environment,?said Earnest W. Deavenport, Jr., chairman and CEO.

    Eastman currently has fine chemicals manufacturing facilities in Batesville, Ark.; Kingsport, Tenn.; Llangefni, Wales; and Hong Kong, China. The company continues to evaluate options regarding the plants in Wales and China.

    Brian Ferguson, president of Eastman chemicals group, said the reductions are one element in the ongoing restructuring of its fine chemicals business. “Eastman’s strategy for fine chemicals is to improve our cost structure while focusing on growth opportunities,?he said. “The unique capabilities of our employees and facilities in Arkansas will be a valuable part of our specialty chemicals business.?P> Costs associated with this restructuring, including an asset write-down, will be recognized as nonrecurring charges against earnings in second quarter 2001.

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