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Borden to Sell Wallcovering Business for $320 Million.

COLUMBUS, Ohio--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Nov. 6, 1997--Borden, Inc. today announced that it has signed a definitive agreement to sell its worldwide business in wallcoverings and flexible vinyl films to Blackstone Capital Partners III Merchant Banking Fund L.P. ("Blackstone"), a private equity fund sponsored by The Blackstone Group, a New York-based private investment bank.

The transaction value is approximately $320 million, consisting of about $310 million in cash plus a retained equity interest of 11 percent.

The operations being divested by Borden are collectively known as Borden Decorative Products Holdings, Inc. (BDPH) and have aggregate annual sales revenues of approximately $375 million. BDPH consists of wallcovering units Borden Decorative Products Ltd. in the United Kingdom and Sunworthy Wallcoverings in North America, plus Vernon Plastics, a producer of flexible vinyl films, in Haverhill, Massachusetts.

"This is yet another step in the transformation of Borden's platform of businesses," said C. Robert Kidder, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Borden, Inc. "We've been bringing our platform into sharper strategic focus. That allows Borden to concentrate its people and financial resources on developing and growing the areas in which the company is best suited to build value.

"At the same time, Borden is retaining a stake in wallcoverings," Mr. Kidder said, "and we look forward to sharing in the future success of the business."

The transaction is targeted for completion during the first quarter of 1998. Morgan Stanley & Co., an investment banking firm, is acting as financial advisor to Borden, and Credit Suisse First Boston, an investment banking firm, is acting as financial advisor to Blackstone.

Borden expects to use the cash proceeds from the transaction primarily for investment in the growth and development of other business areas. "There are significant opportunities within our family of companies," Mr. Kidder said, "and to build value, Borden will invest aggressively in acquisitions, capital expenditures, new products and marketing."

Borden Decorative Products Holdings

Headquartered in Darwen, Lancashire, U.K., BDPH is the world leader in the production and marketing of residential wallcoverings. In addition, BDPH manufactures heat transfer papers and gravure printing cylinders in the U.K. and flexible vinyl films in the U.S. Its three operating units have a total of seven manufacturing facilities (one at Darwen and two each at Morecambe and Bridlington in the U.K.; Brampton, Ontario, Canada; and Haverhill, Massachusetts) and employ about 2,650 people (1,600 U.K., 550 Canada and 500 U.S.).

The Borden Decorative Products Ltd. unit (also headquartered at Darwen) markets under the Crown, Shand Kydd and Storeys principal brand names and has an extensive export program that reaches beyond Europe and North America to more than 55 nations in all. Sunworthy Wallcoverings is headquartered in Brampton, Ontario, Canada, and distributes in the United States as well under brand names led by Sunworthy, Borden Home, Foremost, Westmount and Birge. Sunworthy has U.S. offices/distribution centers both in Columbus, Ohio, and Atlanta, Georgia. The Vernon Plastics' flexible vinyl film products are used by industrial customers for swimming pool liners, home/auto/marine upholstery, outdoor advertising signage, bookbinding and a range of other applications.

The Borden Family of Companies is a diversified producer of pasta, snacks and other packaged grocery products; consumer adhesives and wallcoverings; and formaldehyde, resins, coatings and other chemical products for industry. Headquartered in Columbus, Ohio, and privately owned by the investment firm Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. (KKR) since March 1995, the Borden Family employs about 15,500 people and operates about 100 plants worldwide.

CONTACT: Borden, Inc.

Nicholas R. Iammartino, 614/225-4485

Lynn S. Anderson, 614/225-7199
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Publication:Business Wire
Date:Nov 6, 1997
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