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8 August 2001

Portex, Inc., Keene, NH announces the acquisition of the Point-Lok Needle Protection Device from Griff Industries, Chatsworth, CA. The Point-Lok device is a versatile, stand-alone protection product that can be used on a variety of needle types and sizes. Portex has been marketing the product separately and packaged with its Arterial Blood Gas Sampling kits for several years. It has now purchased the rights to manufacture the product and other assets from Griff Industries.

Jeff Spielman, President of Portex, Inc. commented We are delighted to have made this acquisition, which will help to secure our position in the rapidly expanding needle protection device market. Portex, Inc. has invested in this area for a number of years and the results of that investment are now being realized in strong profit growth. We see the Point-Lok transaction as one of several moves to expand our Needle-Pro needle protection product range from the simplest devices to more complex, engineered protection products.

Headquartered in Keene, New Hampshire, Portex, Inc. is part of Smiths Group plc, London, and manufactures a wide range of single-use medical devices for the worldwide market.

ENDS

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