After more than 16 years under court protection, Pittsburgh Corning Corp., the joint venture between PPG Industries Inc. and Corning Inc., emerged from its asbestos-related bankruptcy Wednesday.
The Pittsburgh Corning plan channels claims against the company’s non-bankrupt parents to a $3.5 billion trust that was set up under the plan to absorb asbestos liabilities. The trust, one of the country’s largest, is being funded by PPG, Corning and their insurers.
Pittsburgh Corning, a maker of glass-based insulation materials used in construction and oil and gas pipelines, spent the first five years in bankruptcy on protecting and preserving its assets.
“When it became apparent that Pittsburgh Corning’s time in bankruptcy was going to be extended, our focus expanded to include strategic actions designed to reinvent our business,” said James R. Kane, the company’s chief executive.
Pittsburgh Corning is one of many large companies attempting to use bankruptcy to survive an onslaught of claims for asbestos damage. The bankruptcy code allows companies to set up trust funds to pay claims, insulating their future operating funds from potential liabilities.
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