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Elementis PLC (ELM)

  Print      Mail a friend       Annual reports

Friday 12 April, 2002

Elementis PLC


23 October 2001

                           Elementis announces sale                            
                             of Harcros Chemicals                              

Elementis plc announces today that it has sold Harcros Chemicals (Harcros), the
Group's US chemical distribution business, for approximately £23.0 million. The
purchaser is HCI Acquisitions Inc (HCIA), a newly established company in which
the current senior management of Harcros have a partial interest.

Harcros is headquartered in Kansas City, Kansas, US. It has strong coverage in
the Midwest and employs around 440 people. The book value of assets to be sold
on a debt free/cash free basis is estimated at £17.3 million. The sale will
result in an exceptional pre-tax profit of approximately £1.4 million after
expenses, additional environmental provisions and the write back of £0.7
million of goodwill previously written off direct to reserves. No tax is
expected to be payable as a result of the sale.

The sale price of approximately £23.0 million comprises approximately £20.2
million in cash (of which £17.8 million has been received, the balance being
payable on the determination of the actual net asset amount at the date of
sale), £1.1 million satisfied by HCIA agreeing to discharge and indemnify
Harcros Chemicals Inc, the seller, for certain costs and £1.7 million in the
form of non-voting redeemable preferred stock in HCIA which will be retained.

Over the next ten years, Harcros Chemicals Inc, the seller, has agreed to pay
50 per cent of environmental clean up costs relating to its period of ownership
on sites to be acquired by HCIA, up to a maximum of £6.9 million. Non-operating
sites are excluded from the sale; Harcros Chemicals Inc will remain responsible
for environmental clean up costs at these locations. In addition, Harcros
Chemicals Inc has agreed to indemnify HCIA for environmental clean costs
recoverable from a prior owner of the business and for any toxic tort claims.

If Harcros Chemicals is resold within the next three years for a price greater
than the original purchase price, the seller is entitled to additional
consideration, equating to half of all gains above a set return for HCIA, this
return being based on a formula which takes into account the capital invested,
the period of investment and the quantum of the resale price. This is subject
to an overall cap of £31.2 million.

In 2000, the Group's chemical distribution division, comprising Harcros, made
an operating profit of £6.0 million on £160.0 million of sales. Operating
profit in the six months to
30 June 2001 was £1.9 million on sales of £87.3 million. Proceeds from the
proposed sale will initially be used to reduced borrowings and the non voting
redeemable preferred stock in HCIA will be retained.

Commenting on the proposed sale, Jonathan Fry, Chairman of Elementis said, 'The
Board believe that by selling Harcros, Elementis will be able to focus more
clearly on its core specialty chemicals businesses making the Company more
attractive to investors.'

                                   - Ends -                                    


Elementis plc 020 7398 1400

Geoff Gaywood Group Chief Executive

George Fairweather Group Finance Director

Anna Passey Head of Corporate Communications

Brunswick 020 7404 5959

Andrew Fenwick

Rupert Young

                                                         One Great Tower Street

                                                                London EC3R 5AH

                                                Telephone: +44 (0) 207 398 1400

                                               Facsimilie: +44 (0) 207 398 1401



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