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Wednesday 08 October, 2003



08 October 2003

8 October 2003


IMI plc, the major international engineering group, is pleased to announce
further investment in the development of its Merchandising Systems business with
the acquisition of Artform International Ltd (Artform), a leading European
Point-of-Purchase brand support, design, development and manufacturing business,
based in Loughborough, England.

IMI has agreed to acquire 93% of Artform for  £47m, represented by consideration
paid in cash of £14m and assumed debt of £33m. The principal shareholder was
European private equity firm Bridgepoint.  The remaining 7% of Artform will be
retained by the management team until 2007, when put and call options become
exercisable at a price ranging from a minimum of £1.5m to a maximum of £5.9m
dependent upon performance.

For the year to March 2003, Artform's audited pre-tax profit was £4.3m on sales
of £33m.  The value of the net assets acquired excluding assumed debt is
approximately £10m.

Artform brings expertise and leadership positions in a number of additional
consumer sectors particularly cosmetics, tobacco and leisure products and
significantly extends IMI's ability to service global brand owner clients by
providing a European base for operations.

All but a small percentage of Artform's sales are in European markets and its
current customers include many of the leading global cosmetic brands.  Artform
has 425 employees including a very strong, experienced and capable management
team who will remain with the business.

IMI's Merchandising Systems business is a market leader in the US permanent
Point of Purchase display market and consists of Cannon Merchandising which
specialises in solutions for the dairy, newspaper, confectionery and grocery
industries; Display Technologies, acquired in 2001, focusing on highly creative
designs for a wide range of consumer product customers in the beverage, food and
convenience store sectors; and DCI Marketing, acquired in 2002, with its
strengths in delivering customer value in automotive, technology and packaged
goods markets.

Martin Lamb, IMI's Chief Executive, commented,

'Artform has an excellent track record of success, providing knowledge-based
solutions to a strong client list in growth sectors that complement our existing
Merchandising Systems operations.  The acquisition also provides us with a
platform in the European Point-of-Purchase display market and positions us
better to serve our global clients with cross-border retail and brand-marketing

With the addition of Artform the pro-forma annual sales of IMI's Merchandising
Systems business will be around $300m.'

                                    - End -

For further information contact:

IMI plc
Graham Truscott, Communications Director                   Tel: 0121 717 3712

Weber Shandwick Square Mile
Nick Oborne / Christian San Jose                           Tel: 020 7067 0700

Information about Artform International can be found on the website:

Information about IMI plc can be found on the website:

Note to Editors:

IMI plc is a dynamic international engineering business specialising in
innovative solutions and services for a wide range of industrial and retail
customers.  Its future growth is being built on the two business areas of Fluid
Controls and Retail Dispense.

IMI's operations in these two business areas share the following core
characteristics: strong market positions in growing markets; the ability to be
clearly differentiated from their competitors through technological innovation
or after-sales service; and the provision of 'added value' through bespoke
solutions rather than a high manufacturing or material content.

IMI is quoted on the London Stock Exchange and is capitalised at approximately

                      This information is provided by RNS
            The company news service from the London Stock Exchange