24 April 2004

Smiths strengthens Interconnect business with $111.5 million US acquisition

Smiths Group today announced the acquisition of TRAK Communications Inc., a leader in the design and manufacture of microwave sub-systems, antennas and related components, for $111.5 million (63m) from Veritas of New York. TRAK will form part of Smiths Interconnect, a leader in the supply of application specific electronics for military and commercial markets. This acquisition is the fifth Smiths has announced since presenting its interim results on 10 March, bringing total expenditure to $330.5 million (187m).

Commenting on this acquisition, Smiths Group chief executive Keith Butler-Wheelhouse said; Smiths continues to pursue its strategy of profitable growth through investing in new technology and the acquisition of businesses which complement or expand our offering to the customer. This is our fifth purchase announcement in five weeks and underlines our intent to acquire high growth companies.

TRAK, with 425 employees and 2003 turnover of $71 million (40m) operates from facilities in Tampa in Florida, Thousand Oaks, California and Dundee, Scotland. Smiths Group is satisfying the acquisition consideration in cash. It is expected to close at the end of May, subject to regulatory approvals.

Einar Lindh, group managing director of Specialty Engineering added; TRAK brings a portfolio of world-class microwave sub-systems which is complementary to Interconnects products. It will extend our capability in existing markets, and by packaging together Interconnect and TRAK products, we will enhance our position with customers.

ENDS

About TRAK Communications Inc.
Founded in 1960 as TRAK Microwave, the business developed with the acquisition of TECOM and TRAK Europe, before being acquired by Veritas, a New York private equity company. TRAK has market leading positions in three key technologies: sources, devices used to generate highly accurate base frequencies for communication systems; ferrites, magnetic devices used to isolate or combine microwave signals; and rugged antennas for military and airborne applications.

Sales to governments, or to projects whose ultimate customers are government agencies, account for over half of TRAKs business, principally US defence projects , unmanned vehicles and avionics applications. Significant defence customers include Raytheon, BAE Systems, Northrop Grumman, Harris and Boeing. TRAK also enjoys good positions on commercial projects with major customers such as Nokia, Motorola, and Ericsson.

Fifth Smiths acquisition in five weeks
Since announcing its Interim results on 10 March 2004, Smiths has acquired;
10 March Cyrano (Detection) $15 million
10 March Smiths Medical Japan (Medical) $27 million
15 March DGT (Aerospace) $102 million
07 April SensIR (Detection) $75 million
22 April TRAK (Interconnect) $111.5 million
A total including TRAK of $330.5 million (187m)
(Exchange rate $1.7679/ as at close on 21/04/04)