Documents filed by Crown Cork & Seal with the Securities and Exchange Commission indicate that the US-based packaging products firm has a total of $283 million (€287m) set aside as of 30 June for asbestos-related liabilities, according to a report in The Wall Street Journal.
The amount has been reserved to pay for $150 million worth of unfiled claims and committed settlements amounting to $119 million. The claims date back some 40 years, when the company invested in a Pennsylvania company that handled asbestos.
CCS estimates that it needs as much as $516 million to settle all pending and potential asbestos-related claims, from the Pennsylvania company's former employees.
In the past year CCS has improved its financial position, after a series of poor performances towards the end of the 1990s. Divestiture of unprofitable companies has helped the rebound, but the asbestos claims remain a cause for concern because of the financial strain they may create.