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Jane D. McGuinness
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Susan G. Eccher


COLUMBIA, Maryland, July 12, 1999 - W. R. Grace & Co. (NYSE: GRA) announced today that it has formed a Performance Chemicals unit by integrating the management of its Construction Products and Darex Container Products businesses. The businesses had combined sales of approximately $750 million in 1998.

Grace Construction Products manufactures specialty construction chemicals, including Concrete Products, cement additives and masonry products, and specialty building materials, including waterproofing products and systems, fire protection products and roofing materials. Its products are used to make improvements in infrastructure, such as highways and tunnels, as well as in commercial, residential and institutional buildings. It has approximately 2,200 employees in North and South America, Asia and Europe.

Darex manufactures can sealants used to protect foods and beverages. It also manufactures closure sealants, which protect the contents of glass and plastic bottles and jars, and coatings, which protect metal surfaces from corrosion. Darex has manufacturing locations in North and South America, Asia and Europe and employs approximately 1,000 people.

"Although both businesses are among the global leaders in their respective markets, we believe they can be stronger and grow faster together," said Paul J. Norris, Chairman, President and CEO of Grace. "This new entity will allow Grace Construction Products and Darex to share resources in such critical areas as supply chain management, Six Sigma implementation, commercialization and marketing. We believe Grace will capture greater growth and productivity gains by integrating operations within these two businesses than would have been the case if they continued to operate separately. This is another important step in our effort to build an integrated operating company."

The new Performance Chemicals unit will be led by Robert J. Bettacchi, a 30-year veteran of Grace, who is a senior vice president of the company and president of Grace Construction Products. A chemical engineer, Bettacchi has led Grace Construction Products to record growth levels in the last four years through a combination of innovative sales and marketing strategies and the development of a process that enables the business to regularly introduce new highly valued products.

Bettacchi will continue to lead Grace Construction Products. Reporting to him will be Bruce Wagner, president of Darex.

Grace is a leading global supplier of catalysts and silica products, specialty construction chemicals and building materials, and container protection products. With annual sales of approximately $1.5 billion, Grace has 6,600 employees and operations in nearly 40 countries.

This announcement contains "forward-looking" information. Future results may differ from those discussed here. Some of the factors that could cause such differences can be found under the heading "Projections and Other Forward-Looking Information" in Grace's current Annual Report on Form 10-K.

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