6 January 2006  Bekaert to acquire Conflandey’s business in  the USA

Today, Bekaert purchased various machinery and equipment from Conflandey Inc., an affiliate of the french Tréfileries de Conflandey S.A., in the USA. The purchase price amounts to US$ 4.5 million (€ 3.8 million). Furthermore, Bekaert will act as Conflandey’s exclusive agent within the USA and Canada.

Conflandey Inc., located in Whiteville (North Carolina), is the single most important supplier of stitching wire, supplying most of the printing companies and binderies in North America. The company is also an important supplier of wire for the industrial staples market.

Bekaert will transfer the equipment to its wire plant in Shelbyville (Kentucky) during the first quarter. Bekaert will do its utmost in order to realize a seamless transition without any disruption for its customers. In Shelbyville, the company already manufactures industrial staple wire products and fine speciality wires for all kinds of applications.

Henri-Jean Velge, Group Executive Vice President, stated: “With this acquisition, Bekaert will strengthen its position in advanced wire products for the North-American markets while continuing its focus on more value added applications. Our objective is to reach the highest level of efficiency in service and delivery, which are key parameters in order to successfully serve our broadened customer base.”