Siebe Confirms Sale of North Safety Products Business

6 October 1998

Siebe Confirms Sale of North Safety Products Business

    WINDSOR, England--Oct. 6, 1998--United Kingdom based SIEBE plc ('Siebe') today announced the sale of its North Safety Products business to Norcross Safety Products LLC (2 September announcement) was subject to relevant regulatory approvals and to Norcross completing appropriate financing arrangements.
    Both of these conditions have now been met and the business was transferred on October 2, 1998. The final sale price was 131.6 million pounds (US$ 225 million) of which 10.3 million pounds (US$17.5 million) Siebe has agreed to finance through a loan note to support the transaction -- the balance of 121.3 million pounds (US$207.5 million) was paid in cash.
    For the year ended April 4, 1998, North Safety sales were 111.3 million pounds (US$182.5 million), operating profit was 16.5 million pounds (US$27.1 million) and profit before tax was 14.7 million pounds (US$24.1 million). At April 4, 1998, the net assets were 65.0 million pounds (US$111.2 million) and a pre-tax profit (after disposal costs and write-back of goodwill) of 62.0 million pounds (US$106.0 million) is expected. The sale proceeds have been used by Siebe to pay-down Group US dollar short-term borrowings.
    The North Safety Products business, including Siebe North Inc. (North America), North Safety Products Limited (United Kingdom), Siebe Gorman (United Kingdom), James North (Pty) Limited (Africa), and Industrie-Schutz-Produkte (Germany), manufactures a wide range of personal safety and life support products, such as hand, hearing and eye protection, first aid and respiratory products. These products are used in a variety of industries, including mining, construction, healthcare, utility, electronics and retail. The head office of the division is located at Cranston, Rhode Island, United States and the business employs approximately 2,300 people.
    Siebe is one of Britain's largest electronics and engineering groups, incorporating 200 companies worldwide and employing over 55,000 people. The Group designs and manufactures process automation and building control systems, a broad range of controls for automotive, appliance and residential applications, electronic power controls and engineered factory automation equipment. The Group generated a profit before tax of 486.4 million on a turnover of 3,670.2 million pounds for the year ended April 4, 1998, up 14.7% and 22.1% respectively on the prior financial year.

    The sale price, net assets at April 4, 1998 and pre-tax profit at completion are stated at US$1.71/pound (being the spot rate at October 2, 1998) and sales, operating profit and profit before tax are stated at US$1.64/pound (being the average rate for the 12 months ended April 4, 1998).

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