10 May 2006  General Meeting of Shareholders

–       Gross dividend of € 3 per share approved

–       Bert De Graeve new Chief Executive Officer 

Today Bekaert’s ordinary general meeting of shareholders took place, with Baron Buysse, Chairman of the Board of Directors, in the chair.

The meeting approved the balance sheet and the income statement as at 31 December 2005, as submitted by the Board of Directors, including the distribution of a gross dividend of € 3 per share. This corresponds to a net dividend per share of € 2.25. The net dividend on shares with VVPR strip, giving entitlement to a reduced withholding tax of 15%, thus amounts to € 2.55 per share. The dividend will be payable as from 17 May 2006.

The meeting discharged the Directors and the Statutory Auditor for the performance of their duties during the financial year 2005. The meeting also approved the remuneration of the Directors and Statutory Auditor.

The meeting decided to increase the number of Directors from fourteen to fifteen.

The meeting accepted the recommendation to re-appoint Baron Leon Bekaert, Baron Buysse, Count Charles de Liedekerke, and Messrs Julien De Wilde, Hubert Jacobs van Merlen and Maxime Jadot as Directors for a term of three years, expiring after the ordinary general meeting of 2009. The office of Baron Buysse as Chairman was renewed for the same period.

The meeting also appointed Bert De Graeve as a Director. As a result of this decision, the appointment by the Board of Directors of Bert De Graeve as Chief Executive Officer came effective at the close of this general meeting.

In his address, Baron Buysse thanked Julien De Wilde, who resigned as Chief Executive Officer today, and also pledged every support to the new CEO Bert De Graeve, on behalf of the Board of Directors and the shareholders, in the further development of Bekaert.