W.R. Grace & Co., Columbia, Md., received bankruptcy court approval to make $38.2 million in pension contributions to meet minimum funding requirements for the period from July 15 through April 15, 2006, according to court documents. Judge Judith K. Fitzgerald of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Wilmington, Del., signed an order Wednesday granting the company's May 23 motion.
W.R. Grace, which has been in Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection since April 2001, had $891.4 million in total pension assets as of Dec. 31, according to the company's annual report. The plans were underfunded by $549.1 million at the end of 2004, the annual report said.
Separately, the judge also authorized W.R. Grace to make one-time lump sum payments of $7.9 million to two of its union pension plans, according to another order signed Wednesday. Attorneys representing the company filed a separate motion May 23 requesting the payments to avoid "labor discord and morale problems," the motion said. The company will contribute about $6.6 million and $1.3 million, respectively, to plans at the firm's Lake Charles, La., and Chattanooga, Tenn., plants. W.R. Grace will make the contributions as part of collective bargaining agreements negotiated earlier this year and in 2004.