Universal Leaf North America to Close Henderson Plant Earlier Than Planned

May 30, 2002, 01:00 ET from Universal Leaf North America NC, Inc.

    RICHMOND, Va., May 30 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Universal Leaf North
 America NC, Inc., a subsidiary of Universal Leaf Tobacco Company, Inc., today
 announced that it plans to close its leaf tobacco processing plant in
 Henderson, North Carolina, on August 1, 2002, one year earlier than originally
 planned.  The factory, along with one in Wilson, North Carolina, had been
 scheduled to close in 2003 in conjunction with the opening of Universal's new
 state-of-the-art facility currently under construction in Nash County, North
     Approximately 130 full-time positions and about 400 seasonal jobs will be
 affected by this action.  This year, U.S. flue-cured and burley leaf tobacco
 will be processed in Universal's newly upgraded and expanded Danville,
 Virginia plant and the Wilson facility.  In 2003, all of Universal's tobacco
 processing will take place in either Nash County or Danville.
     W. Keith Brewer, President of Universal Leaf North America's U.S.
 operations, said that today's announcement to accelerate the closure of the
 Henderson plant is a result of an unanticipated reduction in orders from a
 number of export customers.
     "We can accommodate the revised processing volumes in our Wilson plant and
 our newly enlarged and technologically advanced Danville factory,"  said
 Brewer, further noting that the Danville facility, which will re-open in
 August, will have an increased processing capacity of more than seventy
 percent above previous years.
     "While we knew the Henderson plant was ultimately going to close, that
 does not make today's decision any easier.  The factory and the employees who
 worked there have served Universal well for many years.  Our goal now is to
 accomplish this closing with the least possible disruption to the lives of our
 employees and the community," Brewer said.
     Universal Leaf Tobacco Company, Inc. is a subsidiary of Universal
 Corporation (NYSE:   UVV), a diversified company with operations in tobacco,
 lumber, and agri-products.  Universal Corporation's gross revenues for the
 fiscal year that ended on June 30, 2001, were approximately $3.0 billion.
 For more information, visit Universal Corporation's web site at
 http://www.universalcorp.com .
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SOURCE Universal Leaf North America NC, Inc.