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Solutia Gets Extension on Bankruptcy Plan

April 15, 2004
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ST. LOUIS (AP) -- A federal bankruptcy judge has given chemicals concern Solutia Inc. another three months to detail how it expects to emerge from bankruptcy.

U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Prudence Carter Beatty of New York on Tuesday gave the St. Louis-based company an additional 90 days -- until July 14 -- to file its bankruptcy plan, calling the extension "necessary and appropriate to carry out the provisions of the bankruptcy code."

When it filed for Chapter 11 federal bankruptcy protection in December, Solutia by law was required to draft a new business plan in the first 120 days of bankruptcy to show its lenders how it intends to return to profitability.

That "exclusivity period," which would have expired this week, allows Solutia to formulate its own restructuring without worrying about competing plans from outsiders.

Beatty's ruling gave Solutia until Sept. 12 to solicit creditors' votes to approve whatever plan emerges.

Solutia spokesman Glenn Ruskin said Thursday such extensions -- in some cases, multiple ones -- were common in complex bankruptcy matters.

"We might come back and seek an additional extension. I'm not saying we will, but we could, as long as folks in the matter are comfortable with that," Ruskin said.

Solutia and 14 of its U.S. subsidiaries sought bankruptcy protection after struggling under heavy financial obligations assigned to the company when it was spun off by Monsanto Co. as a separate company seven years ago.

Solutia, which has said its worldwide operations would continue without interruption, has expected that matters would not improve at least before this spring, citing volatility in energy costs, soft consumer confidence and sluggish demand.

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