30 January 2002

Smiths Group agrees £215 million sale of marine business

Smiths Group has signed a definitive agreement for the sale of its John Crane-Lips marine business to Wartsil aCorporation of Finland, for 215 million (350m) in cash.

Keith Butler-Wheelhouse, chief executive of Smiths Group commented:

"This sale is important to our Sealing Solutions division, now concentrating on its John Crane and Polymer Seals businesses where we have world-leading market positions. John Crane-Lips will realise its full potential alongside the complementary marine activities of Wrtsil. The process of focusing the activities of Smiths will continue."

John Crane-Lips is a supplier of marine propulsion systems, seals and bearings, with a strong aftermarket activity covering replacement seals, servicing and repairs. It had sales of 152m in the year to 31 July 2001, earning operating profits of 18.7m. Net assets are 52m. The business employs 1,200 people in Holland, Japan, Norway, the UK and USA.

Completion of the sale is subject to regulatory approvals and the consideration will reduce Smiths current level of borrowings, with the company continuing its programme of acquisitions. This transaction brings the proceeds of disposals by Smiths since January 2001 to more than 280 million.

ENDS

Wartsila is a leading global ship power supplier and a major provider of decentralised power generation systems and support services.