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Honeywell: asbestos settlement agreed for Narco

Honeywell International Inc. has reached agreements with about 90% of claimants seeking payment for asbestos-related claims from a former Honeywell unit.
The technology company said 17 January 2003 i…

Honeywell International Inc. has reached agreements with about 90% of claimants seeking payment for asbestos-related claims from a former Honeywell unit. The technology company said 17 January 2003 it had signed definitive agreements or reached agreements in principle for about 236,000 asbestos claims related to its former North American Refractories Co. unit, now owned by Austrian conglomerate RHI AG. Honeywell owned Narco, a manufacturer of bricks and cement, from 1979 to 1986.. There were approximately 116,000 claims pending when Narco filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in January 2002. Under the proposed settlement, claims would be paid over a period of four years from a trust to be set up for this purpose. The trust would stop any future Narco-related asbestos claims against Honeywell and Narco in state and federal courts; instead, all future claims would be directed to the federally supervised trust. Honeywell said contributions required to fund future claims would be capped at an annual level that wouldn“t have a material impact on the company“s operating cash flows By law, agreement with 75% of current claimants is required before the bankruptcy court will consider the trust for approval. The trust-distribution procedures were approved by the negotiating subcommittee of the Asbestos Creditors“ Committee , Honeywell said. The company also reported progress in its discussions with the representative appointed by the bankruptcy court to represent the interests of future claimants. “These are important steps toward resolving a significant portion of Honeywell“s asbestos claims,” Honeywell“s general counsel, Peter Kreindler, said in a prepared statement. Honeywell also said it had been given an extension from a Pittsburgh bankruptcy judge enjoining any claims against Honeywell and pending the reorganization of Narco until 18 February 2003.

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