WR Grace to settle asbestos-related claims, shares up

NEW YORK Mon Apr 7, 2008 11:12am EDT

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Specialty chemicals firm W.R. Grace & Co (GRA.N), which filed for bankruptcy protection in 2001, said on Monday it will settle all present and future asbestos-related personal injury claims, sending its shares up more than 10 percent.

The settlement includes $250 million in cash to be paid to a trust and deferred payments at $110 million per year for 5 years beginning in 2019, the company said in a statement.

It also includes a deferred payment of $100 million a year for 10 years beginning in 2024. The deferred payments would be backed by 50.1 percent of the company's common stock.

The agreement contemplates the filing of a plan of reorganization and related documents with the bankruptcy court, the company said.

"A lot of work remains to be done before we can confirm a plan of reorganization, but I am optimistic we will be successful in reaching that goal by the end of this year or early in 2009," Chief Executive Fred Festa said in a statement.

Shares of the company were up $2.60, or 10.5 percent at $27.45 in morning trade on the New York Stock Exchange.

(Reporting by Euan Rocha; Additional reporting by Neetha Mahadevan in Bangalore, editing by Mark Porter)

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