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Leeds Group PLC (LDSG)

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Thursday 17 May, 2001

Leeds Group PLC

Disposal

Leeds Group PLC
17 May 2001

Issued on behalf of Leeds Group plc

Date: Thursday, 17 May 2001     Embargoed: 10.00am


                               Leeds Group plc


Leeds Group sells its Strines textile printing business to Walker Greenbank
PLC

Leeds Group plc announces that its subsidiary, Leeds Dyers Limited, has
reached agreement to sell to Walker Greenbank PLC the business, stock and
certain fixed assets of its Strines Textiles branch, which is based at
Stockport. Following employee consultation it is anticipated that the
transaction will be completed on 11 June 2001.


Consideration for the sale, which will be used to reduce Group indebtedness,
will be a maximum of approximately £2,000,000, of which £125,000 will be paid
on completion, and approximately £1,125,000, subject to completion accounts,
in instalments between October 2001 and September 2003. Dependent on Strines
Textiles meeting certain business performance criteria in the three years
following completion, further consideration to a maximum of £750,000 will be
payable.


In the year ended 30 September 2000 Strines Textiles produced an operating
loss of £2,723,000 after charging exceptional costs of £1,579,000. The assets
that are the subject of the transaction were, at 31 March 2001, stated in the
accounts of Strines Textiles at £915,000.


Chris Marsden, Chief Executive of Leeds Group, commented:

'This transaction represents a very positive move in an industry struggling in
the face of increasing import penetration and excess capacity. Leeds Group is
able to divest a loss-making operation, and generate revenue from the future
sale of surplus assets. Walker Greenbank is a highly respected company
involved in the design and manufacture of wallcoverings and fabrics, and the
deal creates the opportunity to build on the strengths of both businesses to
the benefit of the combined customer base.'

Leeds Group announces its intent to close Walsden Printing

Leeds Group plc announces that its subsidiary, Leeds Dyers Limited, has
started consultations with the workforce at its Walsden Printing branch, which
may lead to the cessation of textile printing at this facility, which is
located at Todmorden, West Yorkshire and currently employs 161 people.


The Directors have taken this step reluctantly in response to continued import
penetration, which has led to a decline in demand generally for textiles
printed in the UK, and to mounting losses at Walsden Printing.


Leeds Group announces negotiations to divest Sharps Fabric Printers

Leeds Group plc announces that its subsidiary, Leeds Dyers Limited, has
agreed, subject to contract, the terms on which it proposes to sell its Sharps
Fabric Printers branch to its management.


The sale of Strines Textiles, and the planned closure, subject to employee
consultation, of Walsden Printing, would leave Sharps as the sole remaining
business in the Group's UK Textile Printing Division. The Directors have
concluded that in these circumstances, although profitable, Sharps operates on
a scale too small to be regarded as a long-term core business.


In contrast with Leeds Group's volume textile printing operations at Strines
Textiles and Walsden Printing, profits at Sharps are above budgeted level.
This is because Sharps operates in niche areas where customers require rapid
response to their technically demanding specifications - in short, a level of
service not readily available from offshore printers. The Directors and the
management team share the view that the prospects for Sharps Fabric Printers
remain encouraging.




ENQUIRIES

Chris J Marsden, Chief Executive     Fiona Tooley

Leeds Group plc     Citigate Dewe Rogerson

Tel: 01943 876222     Tel: 0121 455 8370/Mobile: 07785 703523