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GRACE CONSTRUCTION PRODUCTS ACQUIRES SOCIEDAD PÉTREOS, S.A.'s CONSTRUCTION CHEMICALS BUSINESS IN CHILE

Expands Grace's Presence in South America

CAMBRIDGE, MA, January 5, 2000 -- Grace Construction Products, a business unit of W. R. Grace & Co., (NYSE: GRA) announced today its acquisition of Sociedad Pétreos S.A.'s "Polchem" concrete admixture and construction chemicals business. Located in Santiago, Chile, Pétreos is a subsidiary of Cemento Polpaico S.A./Chile, an affiliate of Holderbank of Switzerland.

"This acquisition supports Grace's strategy to strengthen its market position in the worldwide concrete admixture business. The addition of this business reinforces Grace's presence in the growing South American market and provides Grace access to a larger customer base to sell its innovative specialty products," said Robert J. Bettacchi, president of Grace Construction Products.

The new business will be integrated into Grace's existing South American operation and will augment Grace's present line of products, widening the base of concrete repair and restoration products Grace currently offers.

Headquartered in Cambridge, Massachusetts, Grace Construction Products, a business unit of W. R. Grace & Co., is a leading manufacturer worldwide of concrete admixtures, cement processing additives, fire protection and waterproofing products, and masonry products. The company has more than 125 plants and sales offices around the world.

W.R. Grace & Co. 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.


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