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DUFF & PHELPS PLACES ETHYL SENIOR DEBT ON RATING WATCH-DOWN; COMPANY TO SPIN OFF CHEMICAL ASSETS TO SHAREHOLDERS

 CHICAGO, Sept. 17 /PRNewswire/ -- Ethyl Corporation yesterday announced it plans to spin off to shareholders about $1.1 billion of its chemicals business
assets. As a result, Duff & Phelps Credit Rating


Co. is placing its 'A-' (Single-A-Minus) rating of the company's senior debt on Rating Watch-Down based on the currently proposed structure of the transaction and pending confirmation of a specific plan. About $400 million of debt is affected by the rating action.
 Ethyl's board of directors has approved the spin-off in concept, depending on resolution of specific conditions, such as whether the IRS will allow it as a tax-free event. The new company, yet to be named, will be comprised of Ethyl's industrial specialty chemical operations, including its alpha olefins and related derivatives, bromine and related derivatives, agricultural and pharmaceutical intermediates, and polysilicon operations. Ethyl Corporation would retain its petroleum additives businesses, which include lubricant additives and tetraethyl lead. Each company is expected to have between $350 and $400 million of debt after the spin-off, with the existing publicly-traded debt remaining with the parent company, Ethyl Corp.
 The initiation of the RatingWatch reflects the somewhat uneven split proposed for the two entities. Available information indicates the parent company, Ethyl, will bear a higher fixed obligation ratio than the currently combined company while at the same time depending upon a narrower business profile. Moreover, Ethyl will probably continue to rely heavily on
acquisitions in order to achieve growth. In contrast, the new spin-off company will bear a lower fixed obligation ratio while also benefiting from a relatively broader business profile and better prospects for internal growth.
 -0- 9/17/93
 /CONTACT: Matthew Robbins, CFA of Duff & Phelps Credit Rating Co., 312-368-3120/
 (EY)


CO: Ethyl Corporation ST: New York, Illinois IN: CHM SU: RTG

WB -- NY049 -- 3272 09/17/93 18:23 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Sep 17, 1993
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