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Broadens Fire Protection Offerings with Firestop Products & Systems

COLUMBIA, MD, March 27, 2000 -- W. R. Grace & Co. (NYSE: GRA) has acquired International Protective Coatings Corp. (IPC), a manufacturer of firestop products and systems. IPC, with sales of $8 million and headquarters in Middletown, New Jersey, will be integrated into Grace's Performance Chemicals business unit based in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Grace's existing fireproofing products are primarily designed to protect the integrity of steel structures during a fire; firestops are designed to compartmentalize and contain fire and smoke from spreading through walls and between floors within a building.

"The acquisition of IPC broadens our offering of fire protection solutions to our customers and provides Grace with an excellent opportunity to capture additional growth in fire protection products," said Paul J. Norris, Grace Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer. "IPC is the third 'bolt-on' acquisition that Grace has made in the last three months, which together represent an important part of the growth strategy that we initiated last year."

This new technology platform, coupled with Grace's world-class consultative sales force -- known for leadership in delivering fireproofing solutions -- strengthens Grace's global position in specialty building materials.

"This acquisition is consistent with our strategy to provide comprehensive fireproofing solutions to the marketplace," said Robert Bettacchi, President of Grace's Performance Chemicals unit. "It also provides Grace access to a larger customer base for its innovative specialty products. As both new and retrofit projects in commercial and residential construction continue to demand more from their suppliers, we'll be ready and able to exceed those demands."

Headquartered in Cambridge, Massachusetts, Grace Construction Products is a unit of Grace Performance Chemicals, a core business of W.R. Grace & Co. and is a leading manufacturer worldwide of concrete admixtures, cement-processing additives, fire protection products, waterproofing systems and masonry products. Grace Construction Products has more than 125 plants and offices around the world. For more information, visit the website at or visit IPC at

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 over 6,000 employees and operations in nearly 40 countries.

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