8 May 2006  Bekaert to divest its Handling activities in Denmark and the United Kingdom

Bekaert has reached an agreement with K. Hartwall, a leading European company specialized in roll containers for the logistic sector, on the acquisition by K. Hartwall of the companies Bekaert Handling A/S located in Middelfart (Denmark) and Bekaert Handling Ltd. located in Glenrothes and Spennymoor (United Kingdom), both joint ventures in which Bekaert holds a 50% stake. Both companies together employ 450 people and realize annual sales of € 55 million. This activity concentrates on the production of handling materials for logistical applications in Europe. The share deal is based on an enterprise value of € 13.6 million.

Bekaert wants to continue to focus strategically on its core competences and to become market and technological leader in selected market segments worldwide. The handling activity, which was an extension of the previous European fencing activities, is no longer one of the company’s core businesses.

This agreement is, amongst others, subject to regulatory approvals, but both parties anticipate a timely closing of the transactions.