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Columbian Chemicals Acquires Remaining 40 Percent Share of Hungarian Carbon Black Plant.

ATLANTA, May 30 /PRNewswire/ --

Columbian Chemicals Company today announced that it has acquired the remaining 40 percent share of its carbon black manufacturing facility in Hungary from joint-venture partner Tiszai Vegyi Kombinat Rt. (TVK) for $19 million.

The state-of-the-art plant, located in Tiszaujvaros in northeastern Hungary, was built by Columbian Chemicals in 1993 and is the newest carbon black facility in Europe. The plant's commitment to supply customers with high-quality carbon blacks was confirmed in November 1999, when Columbian Tiszai Carbon Ltd. (CTC) won the Hungarian National Quality Award.

"TVK has been an ideal partner since embarking on this joint venture in the early 1990s," said John T. Walsh, president of Columbian Chemicals Company. "Both parties will continue to benefit from our strong working relationship and our cross-supply arrangements into the future."

Columbian Chemicals is one of the world's leading producers of carbon black-an engineered compound that improves the strength, durability and overall performance of a range of products including tires and other mechanical rubber goods. Carbon black also is used as a pigment in printing inks, paints and plastics.

"CTC is an essential component of Columbian's efforts to better serve our customers' needs in Central and Eastern Europe for high-quality carbon blacks, and the plant will serve as a platform to meet growing customer demands in the future," Walsh said. Based in Marietta, Ga., Columbian Chemicals also owns and operates carbon black manufacturing facilities in the United States, Brazil, Canada, England, Germany, Italy, South Korea and Spain.

Phelps Dodge Corporation, the parent company of Columbian Chemicals, also views the acquisition as important to solidifying its position as a customer-oriented, specialty chemicals company.

"The goal of Phelps Dodge Industries is to produce high-quality, engineered goods that create value for our customers around the world. This investment is a further vote of confidence in Columbian's ability to do so, and at the same time, create value for our shareholders," said Manuel J. Iraola, senior vice president of Phelps Dodge Corporation and president of Phelps Dodge Industries.

Phelps Dodge Corporation is a diversified mining and manufacturing company with nearly 16,000 employees in 27 countries. It is the world's second-largest producer of copper, the largest producer of continuous-cast copper rod and molybdenum, and is ranked among the world's largest producers of carbon black and magnet wire.
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Publication:PR Newswire
Geographic Code:4EXHU
Date:May 30, 2000
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