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LIGHTING LUBE FILES EMERGENCY PETITION FOR 100 PERCENT BOND IN WITCO CASE, CITING WITCO'S DISCLOSURE OF POSSIBLE MAJOR ACQUISITION

 LIGHTING LUBE FILES EMERGENCY PETITION FOR 100 PERCENT BOND IN


WITCO CASE, CITING WITCO'S DISCLOSURE OF POSSIBLE MAJOR ACQUISITION
 NEWARK, N.J., July 14 /PRNewswire/ -- Lightning Lube Inc. has filed an emergency petition with U.S. District Court Judge William G. Bassler to increase to 100 percent the bond posted by Witco Corp. (NYSE: WIT) in connection with the recent $61.5 million Federal jury award for Lightning Lube. Judge Bassler has scheduled a hearing for July 31 at the U.S. Courthouse here and ordered that Witco file its opposition papers by July 17.
 The petition followed Witco's disclosure on July 9 that it had been selected to enter into final negotiations for the acquisition of Schering AG's Industrial Chemicals and Natural Substances divisions. Witco did not disclose terms, but indicated that the acquisition, if successful, would be the largest in its history.
 On May 29, Judge Bassler, who now sits in Newark, ordered Witco to post a $30 million bond by June 3. The court denied Witco's motion to stay executive of the award without a bond. Witco said that it plans to appeal the May 1 award by the jury in Camden, N.J.
 "An acquisition of this magnitude could adversely affect Witco's ability to promptly pay the judgment," said Steven Kramer, attorney for Lightning Lube. In his petition, Kramer noted that on May 29, Witco's counsel told the court that the company would engage in no "extraordinary" expenditure that would affect its ability to promptly satisfy the judgment.
 "This announced transaction shows that Witco has not been candid with the court," Kramer stated. "While Witco represents that its net worth will not change (as a result of the acquisition), there is no evidence to that effect. Our concern is, that in making this transaction through outside financing, Witco may be encumbering its assets."
 In its May 1 verdict for Lightning Lube and its principal, Ralph Venuto, the jury concluded that Witco's Kendall Oil division had conspired to put Venuto's chain of franchised Laser Lube quick lube shops out of business and had defrauded Lightning Lube. The jury ordered Witco to pay Lightning Lube, Blackwood, N.J., $11.5 million in compensatory damages for lost profits and $50 million in punitive damages.
 -0- 7/14/92
 /CONTACT: Steven Kramer of Lightning Lube, 212-586-0707/ CO: Lightning Lube Inc.; Witco Corp. ST: New Jersey, New York IN: AUT SU:


SM-OS -- NY044 -- 9068 07/14/92 11:45 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Jul 14, 1992
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