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HUNTSMAN CHEMICAL TO ACQUIRE EASTMAN POLYPROPYLENE BUSINESS

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Huntsman Chemical Corp. has agreed to buy Eastman Chemical Co.'s polypropylene business.

Price was not disclosed.Ronald A. Rasband, president of HCC, said the agreement gives Huntsman the exclusive right to finalize contracts to acquire the business.

He said Eastman has an annual capacity of approximately 500 million pounds of polypropylene at its Texas Eastman Division in Longview, Texas.

Polypropylene is used to make auto parts, outdoor furniture, toys, carpet fibers, packaging, film wraps and other products.

"This acquisition will allow us to meet one of Jon Huntsman's long-standing goals, to make our companies world leaders in polypro- pylene production,"said Rasband.

"This purchase, together with the . . . Huntsman Woodbury, N.J., production facility, will give us an annual polypropylene capacity of 900 million pounds."

Rasband said both companies are working to close the sale in the third quarter of this year, subject to approval by the companies' boards of directors and the U.S. Federal Trade Commission.

Eastman has an annual capacity of about 500 million pounds a year, and sales revenues are about $200 million.

With the acquisition plus work under way at its Woodbury, N.J., facility, Salt Lake-based Huntsman Chemical will be able to produce 900 million pounds of polypropylene a year.

The Huntsman companies, which also include Huntsman Corp., Huntsman Specialty Chemicals and Huntsman Packaging, expect $3.4 billion in revenues this year. Eastman has $3.9 billion in annual revenues.

Eastman produces polypropylene at its Texas Division operations in Longview. The facility has 2,500 workers, but only 175 are involved in polypropylene work. Another 75 work in the polypro- pylene operations at Eastman's headquarters in Kingston, Tenn.

Eastman executives said there should be no layoffs as a result of the transaction.