Grace settles final appeal to its reorganization plan

Columbia-based W.R. Grace & Co. cleared the last major hurdle Monday to its exit from nearly 13 years of bankruptcy protection, settling the final remaining appeal to its reorganization plan.

The chemical maker said in a U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission filing that it agreed to pay $129 million to the lenders who hold its pre-bankruptcy bank debt, in addition to the distributions called for in the reorganization plan. If the U.S. Bankruptcy Court approves the settlement, the lenders will withdraw their appeal, Grace said.

The company reiterated its plan to emerge from bankruptcy around Jan. 31.

Grace filed for Chapter 11 protection in 2001 after asbestos claims mounted. As the bankruptcy dragged on, the company continued to acquire firms — most recently a Dow Chemical Co. unit for $500 million, a deal completed this month.

Grace's stock closed at $94.83 a share Monday, down $1.42, before the company announced the settlement.

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