17 December 2003  Exel Oyj acquires composite profiles activities from Bekaert

Finnish Exel Oyj, a leading European company specialised in composite technology, and Bekaert, a worldwide leader in advanced metal transformation and advanced coating technologies, headquartered in Belgium, today entered a preliminary agreement for the sale of Bekaert’s composite profiles activities to Exel.

Although the transaction remains subject to conditions precedent, a.o. regulatory procedures and third party consents, both companies anticipate a timely closing of the transaction.

Exel will acquire operations, working capital, equipment and industrial property. The existing rental agreements regarding real estate will be assigned to Exel. Purchase price including expenses and goodwill will be around € 7 million, depending on the final book value of assets at the time of closing.

It is Bekaert’s strategy to further focus on its core competences and to develop as a worldwide technology and market leader in selected market segments. Realising this objective for the composite profiles activities of Bekaert Progressive Composites would need important resources and thereby limit Bekaert’s growth in other areas that better fit with the company’s core competences. Therefore, Bekaert has decided to divest the composite profiles business.

This acquisition is a significant step in Exel’s growth strategy and will make Exel become the number one pultrusion company in Europe and a pre-eminent actor worldwide. On an annual basis, the acquisition is expected to increase Exel’s net sales with € 13 million.

The composite profiles activities cover a wide range of applications for transportation and construction, which complete Exel’s present customer base. The production plants are located in Oudenaarde (Belgium) and in Munguia (Spain) and include special machines designed to produce large profiles, which will add capacity to Exel’s existing machinery. In Munguia, Bekaert will act as subcontractor for the manufacturing of the profiles for the Spanish market.