News In Brief

Los Angeles-based eToys Inc. announced its remaining 293 employees would be let go April 6, following 700 layoffs last month. The once high-flying Internet retailer said it would continue to work with financial advisers to find a buyer, and unsecured creditors have agreed to postpone debt collection until a standstill agreement expires Feb. 15. Like other Web-based technology companies, eToys experienced high start-up costs and didn't expect to be profitable for several years.

Eastman Chemical Co. said it would split into two publicly traded companies by the end of the year. One of the new entities, which has yet to be named, will produce specialty chemicals and plastics for such products as artificial sweeteners and vinyl flooring. The second company will concentrate on the manufacturing of acetate fibers and PET plastics, which are used to make soft-drink and water bottles. Both will be based in Kingsport, Tenn. Officials said there were no immediate plans for job cuts at headquarters, which currently has about 8,500 workers, or among the 15,000 worldwide employees. Eastman was founded in 1920 to supply photographic chemicals for Eastman Kodak.

(c) Copyright 2001. The Christian Science Publishing Society

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