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Monday, September 18, 2006

"Asbestos claimants predicted to OK exit plan


With bondholders, shareholders, and other creditors largely voting for Owens Corning's plan to exit bankruptcy, the Toledo firm sailed by another landmark this week in its six-year-old Chapter 11 case.
One other big creditor group, the asbestos-injury claimants, is expected to give its nod to OC's reorganization plan Friday.
That should clear the way for a court hearing Monday in Pittsburgh after which a judge could give the building products maker approval to emerge from bankruptcy. The city's third largest corporation filed for Chapter 11 protection on Oct. 5, 2000, because of mounting asbestos-liability claims.
'We remain on track to emerge from Chapter 11 before the end of October this year,' Jason Saragian, an OC spokesman, told The Blade yesterday.
OC's reorganization plan in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Wilmington, Del., calls for paying asbestos victims $5.2 billion and banks and some other creditors $2.5 billion.
More than 131 million new shares of company stock valued at an estimated $3.9 billion would be issued under the plan, most of which would go to bondholders. Existing stock would be canceled.
In voting on this latest version of the exit plan - earlier plans had too much opposition - 94 percent of the bondholders approved it. The action was key, because some bondholders had been among the critics of previous bankruptcy-exit plans."


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