UGL files for Chapter 11
Dogged by asbestos claims, United Gilsonite Laboratories (UGL) has filed a voluntary petition for Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization in a Pennsylvania U.S. district court. The paint and coatings manufacturer is seeking court approval to establish a trust fund to settle outstanding claims and an injunction preventing asbestos-related awards except though the trust.
UGL used asbestos in joint compound but discontinued the practice more than 30 years ago, according to the company.
“In recent years we’ve been burdened with significant asbestos claims that threaten to undermine our strong company,” said Thomas White, president of UGL, in a prepared statement. “This filing is a proactive step to ensure the continued success of UGL for the long-term and we are pleased that there is a clear path to effectively resolve these historic liabilities fully and finally.”
If the court approves the establishment of a trust, UGL and its insurers would create a pool of revenue, and asbestos claimants would petition a committee for payments.
“We will put money in the court-approved trust for asbestos victims in order to win immunity from future lawsuits,” Michele Margotta Neary, UGL’s public relations director, explained to HCN. “Once that trust is funded, UGL will immerge in the free and clear. This will be the only money available to asbestos victims. It is a sound financial decision because at this point, we were fighting claims with no end in sight and with uncertainty of the dollar amount.”
Based in Scranton, Pa., UGL manufactures more than 80 products, including Drylok, a waterproofing and leak-prevention compound, and Zar wood finish.
LINE-X helps K-9 officers
Line-X, a maker of protective coatings, recently provided the Louisville Metro Police Department’s K-9 Unit with a $10,000 contribution toward the refurbishment of its kennel facility, which is in dire need of repair and upgrades. The money will be used to provide the materials and manpower to spray the facility with LINE-X, which will help protect the kennel against decades of peeling paint and rust.
The one-time LINE-X application is part of a more permanent repair plan needed by the kennel facility, which houses a special breed of Belgian Malinois. The Louisville Kennel Club is leading a donation drive.
Headquartered in Huntsville, Ala., LINE-X manufactures high-performance protective coatings that permanently bond to a wide range of surfaces in automotive, commercial, light industrial, heavy industrial, agricultural, military, marine and custom applications.
Dow announces new insulation technology
Dow Global Technologies, a subsidiary of the Dow Chemical Co., has announced the invention and development of a new brominated Polymeric Flame Retardant (Polymeric FR) material for use in foam insulation. The company intends to license the technology to other manufacturers.
The Polymeric FR is for use in both extruded polystyrene (XPS) and expanded polystyrene (EPS) foam insulation applications. Dow has already licensed the technology to Great Lakes Solutions, a business unit of Chemtura Corp., for use in its foam insulation products. Dow is also engaged in advanced licensing discussions with several other interested companies and expects to finalize these agreements by the end of the year.
The development of Dow’s Polymeric FR technology comes against the backdrop of an ongoing search for a substitute for hexabromocyclododecane (HBCD), which is facing some regulatory restrictions in Europe, according to the company.