Marking a major step for Congoleum in its efforts to emerge from bankruptcy, the company announced that the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Trenton, N.J. has approved a $16.95 million insurance settlement that will be used to fund a trust for asbestos claimants. The settlement, with insurer Century Indemnity, brings total settlements in the case to about $207 million, Congoleum noted.

Additionally, Congoleum said it has reached an agreement in principle with the company's bondholders committee and asbestos claimants' representatives on changes to a modified plan of organization. Said Roger S. Marcus, Congoleum's chairman of the board, "I am optimistic that the plan will be confirmed in early 2007."

"We are extremely pleased to have a proposed plan supported by the bondholders' committee and the asbestos claimants' representatives," Marcus added. "With all official committees and representatives of future asbestos claims now on board, our confirmation process should be easier and less expensive."