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Kaiser creditors OK plan

Wed., Nov. 30, 2005

Creditors of Kaiser Aluminum have voted to approve the company’s bankruptcy plan.

The expected development now means that the plan can be affirmed and Kaiser can emerge from its nearly four-year bankruptcy endeavor.

The company reported Tuesday that the plan was approved by more than 90 percent of the creditors who voted.

Kaiser, which is expanding its Trentwood rolling mill to produce heavy gauge aluminum plate for aircraft makers such as Airbus, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in early 2002.

Its reorganization led to the sale of smelters, refineries, bauxite mines and commercial real estate to repay creditors and attempt to restart with a clean balance sheet.

The company also handed its pension plans to the federal government’s Pension Benefit Guaranty Association, eliminated much of its retiree health insurance plan, and struck new labor agreements with its United Steelworkers of America work force.

January court hearings in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Delaware are scheduled to consider objections and perhaps confirm the plan. Once confirmed, the company’s common stock will be rendered worthless and the firm will begin operating with a new board of directors.

Trusts have been established to capture company profits. The money will fund new retirement savings plans and health insurance programs.

The company reported an $11.9 million profit for the third quarter of 2005 on the strength of sales at its plants, including Trentwood.


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