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BP PERFORMANCE POLYMERS INC. SOLD TO NESTE CHEMICALS

 HACKETTSTOWN, N.J., Dec. 17 /PRNewswire/ -- BP Chemicals has announced that the assets of its BP Performance Polymers Inc. (BPPPI) wire and cable business will be acquired by Neste Chemicals of Espoo, Finland, on Jan. 4, 1993. Terms of the sale are not being disclosed.
 The two companies signed a letter of intent for the sale on Aug. 6. After conducting an intensive assessment of the company, Neste concluded that BPPPI's wire and cable business can only be made viable through substantial investment in facilities, along with sweeping changes to the product mix. Neste is therefore acquiring only the company's assets.
 Consequently, BP Chemicals will halt production of wire and cable compounds at the company's Rockport, N.J., manufacturing plants. This action will result in the eventual layoff of about 130 employees at the plant and at the BPPPI Hackettstown office facilities. The BP Chemicals Polybond business and the BP Chemicals Acetyls, Bulk Chemicals and Petrochemicals business are not affected by this action.
 "We regret that BP Chemicals is forced to make this move, which affects the jobs of many employees," said Rudy Blyweert, business manager, wire and cable for BP Chemicals. "We are making every effort to reduce the hardship this may cause for our employees."
 The company will meet and negotiate with the United Rubber Workers Union concerning the effect of this action on union employees. Non- union employees will receive a separation package from BPPPI.
 Neste has indicated to BPPPI that it expects to resume production of medium-voltage insulation materials in the Rockport state-of-the-art facility in January. The site's low voltage plant, which Neste believes will require substantial investments for upgrading, is scheduled to resume operations on a limited basis in early 1993.
 The sale is part of BP Chemicals' strategy to focus on areas of major strength.
 Neste is a worldwide manufacturer and supplier of high quality polymer materials for the wire and cable industry. The BPPPI acquisition enhances the global position of this core Neste business.
 -0- 12/17/92
 /CONTACT: Tony Kozlowski of BP Chemicals, 216-586-5577/


CO: BP Chemicals ST: Ohio, New Jersey IN: CHM SU:

KK -- CL003 -- 8051 12/17/92 08:58 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Dec 17, 1992
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