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W.R. Grace raises asbestos liability to over $2B

COLUMBIA, Md. (AP) -- Chemical and building material manufacturer W.R. Grace & Co. said Thursday that it will raise its recorded liability for asbestos claims to $2.07 billion.

Previously the amount had been $1.7 billion.

The company said it will report a $365 million charge for the fourth quarter.

The increase was necessary because of rising estimates for the settlement of asbestos claims under its reorganization plan, the company said.

The company originally filed for bankruptcy protection in April 2001 so it could resolve its asbestos-related liabilities. A bankruptcy court reaffirmed its reorganization plan in June, but several parties filed to appeal.

Shares of the Columbia, Md., company fell 41 cents, or 0.6 percent, to $71.50 in after-hours trading Thursday.