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KEENE SHAREHOLDERS RATIFY SALE OF OPERATING COMPANY TO FUND GOAL OF FINDING ASBESTOS-LITIGATION SOLUTION

 NEW YORK, April 28 /PRNewswire/ -- Keene Corporation (NASDAQ: KEEN) today announced that its shareholders ratified the decision of the board of directors to distribute rights to purchase all of the capital stock of Reinhold Industries, Inc. The sale of Reinhold common stock is expected to occur in the first half of 1993.
 According to Keene General Counsel Stuart Rickerson, the decision to sell Reinhold - Keene's only remaining operating subsidiary -- is in response to Keene's continuing, escalating asbestos - litigation case load. The sale will provide Keene with additional funds to use in attempting to resolve asbestos-related litigation. Rickerson spoke at the company's annual meeting of shareholders.
 Although Keene has attempted to provide prompt and just settlements to asbestos claimants through its Asbestos Compensation Program, and while this program has been effective 99 percent of the time, excessive compensatory and unjustified punitive damage awards in about 1 percent of the 35,000 cases Keene has resolved in the last 2-1/2 years, continue to undermine its efforts.
 Keene's involvement in asbestos litigation stems from its 1968, $8 million acquisition of Baldwin-Ehret-Hill (BEH), a small manufacturer of acoustical ceilings, ventilation systems and thermal insulations products. Until 1972, a few BEH insulation products included small amounts of asbestos to meet customers' specifications. Although Keene's involvement was limited and late, and ended over two decades ago, to date Keene has paid more than $430 million in asbestos-related litigation expenses, and it spends $800,000 per week in settlements, judgments and legal fees.
 "Keene is dedicated to solving the asbestos litigation mess," said Rickerson. "Keene supports a federal legislative solution to end the casino-style justice frequently found in asbestos litigation." the proposed national asbestos compensation fund would be administered by the Department of Labor and would be funded by defendant companies involved in asbestos litigation. He called for companies, small and large, to signal Washington that they would support fair legislation. He also predicted that even more companies would do so when the Clinton Administration and Congress indicate their commitment "To Put Sick People First," be cleaning up asbestos litigation in a way that is fair both to sick claimants and to the companies involved.
 "National legislation would eliminate court-clogging, would provide claimants with fair and prompt compensation, and would preserve American jobs," Rickerson continued.
 "Allowing asbestos litigation to remain in the courts has hurt the United States competitively and has directed most of the money to lawyers - rather than to sick claimants. A national compensation system can pay 97 cents of every dollar spent to sick people, not just the five to ten cents that reaches them now," Rickerson added. "With the solutions so obvious and a new Administration committed to change, it is time to resolve this problem. Keene is committed to working towards a solution to this national disaster as long as it has assets remaining," Rickerson concluded.
 -0- 04/28/93
 /CONTACT: Stuart E. Rickerson of Keene Corporation, 212-557-1900/
 (KEEN)


CO: Keene Corporation ST: New York IN: SU:

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Date:Apr 28, 1993
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