21 July 2003

Smiths Sells Polymer business to Trelleborg for £495 million cash

Smiths Group today announced the sale of its Polymer Sealing Solutions business to Trelleborg AB of Sweden for a cash sum of 495 million. The sale is subject to EU and US regulatory approval.

Commenting on the sale Smiths Group chief executive Keith Butler-Wheelhouse said:

The disposal emphasises Smiths strategy of concentration on core businesses in detection, medical and aerospace markets. The proceeds will be used to reduce net debt, but we aim to continue to match buys with sells. This transaction brings the proceeds of disposals since July 2002 to 650 million with acquisitions of over 230 million.

Polymer Sealing Solutions recorded sales in 2002 of 378 million with an operating profit of 45 million. The business employs 6000 people and supplies polymer products to the industrial, automotive and aerospace markets. Polymers net assets are 340 million including 190 million of capitalised goodwill. After goodwill previously written off to reserves, the accounting loss on sale will be approximately 130 million.

Subject to the above regulatory approval, Smiths will identify the results of these discontinued activities separately in its 2003 Accounts. The 2003 earnings per share attributable to the discontinued activities, after allocation of interest, is likely to be 4 pence.

ENDS.

Polymer Sealing Solutions
Polymer Sealing Solutions employs 6000 people in over 25 countries and is a world leader in polymer technology elastomer, thermoplastic and PTFE for the, industrial and automotive and aerospace markets. Its principal manufacturing sites are in the UK, Malta, Poland, Scandinavia and Italy and the USA. 3300 of its employees are located in Europe with 1400 in the UK, 1000 employees are based in the USA and a further 300 employees are based throughout the rest of the world. Its trading brands include Busak + Shamban, Forsheda, Polypac and Dowty Automotive.

Trelleborg
Trelleborg is a global industrial group. Operations are based on spearhead competence within polymer materials and a high level of industrial know-how, combined with functional solutions and systems designed to meet the needs of its customers. The Trelleborg Group has annual sales of approximately SEK 18 billion, with about 15,000 employees in 40 countries. Trelleborg consists of four business areas: Trelleborg Automotive, Trelleborg Wheel Systems, Trelleborg Engineered Systems and Trelleborg Building Systems. The Trelleborg share has been quoted on the A list of the Stockholm Exchange since 1964.