Congoleum Corporation Amends Agreement to Settle Asbestos Claims

 ongoleum Corporation (AMEX:CGM) reported today that it has executed certain amendments to the settlement agreement it entered into on April 10, 2003 with attorneys representing more than 75% of the known present claimants with asbestos claims pending against Congoleum and certain ancillary agreements relating to that settlement agreement. The amendments provide additional time for parties to review and respond to information required in order to participate in the settlement. 

The settlement agreement contemplates a Chapter 11 reorganization seeking confirmation of a pre-packaged plan of reorganization that would leave trade and other unsecured creditors unimpaired and would resolve all pending and future asbestos claims against Congoleum, including personal injury asbestos claims against Congoleum's distributors and affiliates that derive from claims made against Congoleum. Approval of such a plan of reorganization will require the supporting vote of at least 75% of the asbestos claimants with claims against Congoleum who vote on the plan.

Roger S. Marcus, Chairman of the Board, commented "As we indicated in our 10-Q filing last month, we anticipated that we would amend these agreements to address concerns as to whether the deadlines in the original agreements were too ambitious. We believe the settlement is a fair and good one for both the claimants and the company, and felt that our interests would be best served by assuring that claimants were afforded adequate time to review the agreement, make a considered decision on participation, and submit the necessary paperwork. Although this amendment postpones our anticipated date for entering into Chapter 11 until September, we believe it reduces the risk of delays to the confirmation of our plan and the far more important goal of exiting Chapter 11 with the asbestos issue behind us, which we still hope to accomplish by the end of the year. I continue to be encouraged by our progress and grateful for the continued support of our employees, customers, suppliers, lenders and shareholders."