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Tuesday 08 August, 2000



8 August 2000

                                   IMI plc                                    
                   £19 million Acquisition of Robimatic plc                   

IMI plc, the major international engineering group, today announces the
acquisition of Robimatic plc, the UK's market leader in the field of packaging
and distributing plumbing products.  Robimatic plc, based in Burgess Hill and
Northampton, supplies the growing DIY sector and some 1,500 independent
merchants around the country. 

Robimatic plc strengthened its position in the UK market in April 1999 with
the acquisition of Oracstar.  The businesses had a combined turnover for 1999
of £27 million, 23% ahead of the £22 million achieved in 1998.  Robimatic plc
has started this year strongly with sales for the six months to 30 June of £17

Products supplied by Robimatic plc include plastic and copper plumbing and
central heating products.  IMI's Hydronic Controls group, which includes
Polypipe, is a major supplier to Robimatic plc.  

The consideration of up to £19 million will be satisfied in loan notes and

The acquisition broadens the range of products which Polypipe in particular
offers to both the DIY and merchant sectors, which have demonstrated a growing
requirement for pre-packed product. It is expected that there will be
opportunities for leveraging additional sales to both these sectors.

IMI's Hydronic Controls group is the European market leader in the manufacture
and supply of hydronic systems.  In 1999, Hydronic Controls reported turnover
of £543 million and an operating profit of £69.5 million.

IMI plc
Trevor Slack, Executive Director              Tel: 0121 356 4848

Issued by:

Shandwick International
Ben Padovan                                   Tel: 020 7329 0096