FIBERITE BUYING DUPONT BUSINESS SEGMENT

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In broadening its offerings, Fiberite Inc. has agreed to purchase the materials and engineering services segment of DuPont Co.'s Advanced Materials Systems business.

The firms signed a letter of intent in December and expect to complete the transaction in 1997's first quarter.

The segment employs 120 and will maintain administrative offices and manufacturing operations in the 125,000-square-foot Pencader facility in Newark, Del.

Under the agreement, Fiberite will buy DuPont's composite product lines, including the Avimid family of high-temperature composite prepregs and Declar thermoplastic polyetherke- toneketone composite sheet materials.

Avimid, an early 1980s development, is used for high-temperature parts inside aircraft engines, particularly by the Pratt & Whitney unit of United Technologies Corp.

DuPont developed the PEKK technology in the 1970s and adopted the Declar trademark in 1987, responding to a tightening of air and smoke regulations on aircraft interior materials.

Besides materials, Fiberite will acquire DuPont's systems engineering capabilities and composite part manufacturing techniques in molding and fiber placement.

DuPont makes composite aircraft engine blades, veins, stators, flaps and larger parts such as wing boxes and fuselages. The deal excludes DuPont's Vespel line of small engine parts such as washers and bushings.

James Ashton, Fiberite chairman and chief executive officer, said, ``We foresee little or no disruption to people or programs as a result of this agreement.''

J. Michael Bowman, vice president and general manager of DuPont Advanced Materials Systems, said he sees value in combining ``Fiberite's core business in traditional epoxy-based materials and prepregs with DuPont's strengths in high-temperature organic composites, specialty thermoplastics and advanced, affordable manufacturing processes.''

Pending negotiations, Bowman expects to remain involved in the transferred business segment and three DuPont joint ventures: Hardcore DuPont Composites LLC of New Castle, Del., and DuPont Lanxide Composites Inc. and DePuy DuPont Orthopedics, both in Newark.

Fiberite will gain applications engineering capabilities.

``Our molding compound customers will see this as a value-added service,'' said Carl Smith, Fiberite president. ``That's not so in aerospace where the primes do their own applications engineering.''

DLJ Merchant Banking Inc. of New York and Carlisle Enterprises LP of La Jolla, Calif., own Fiberite, which is based in Tempe, Ariz. DuPont is based in Wilmington, Del.