Eastman Chemical sells polyethylene unit for $255 million
Eastman Chemical Co. will sell its polyethylene business to Houston-based Westlake Chemical Corp. for $255 million in cash, the Associated Press reports. The sale includes Eastman Chemical''s polyethylene business and epolene polymer business and related assets, including a 200-mile ethylene pipeline from Mont Belvieu, Texas, to the company''s three polyethylene manufacturing plants in Longview, Texas. About 400 employees work in Eastman''s polyethylene and epolene operations; some 255 workers are expected to remain with Eastman Chemical and continue producing polyethylene for Westlake. The transaction is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2006. The Eastman Chemical unit generated about $680 million in revenue last year, the company said. Polyethylene, which is a polymer of ethylene, is used in plastic utensils, shower curtains and wire insulation, among other applications.