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 DENVER, Nov. 23 /PRNewswire/ -- Corporate Express, Inc., a privately held contract stationer, announced today that it signed a definitive purchase agreement to acquire from Hanson Industries, the U.S. arm of U.K.-based Hanson PLC (NYSE: HAN), the companies comprising the Hanson Office Products Group for $162.5 million, subject only to regulatory approvals. As part of the transaction, all Group debt will be paid in full by Hanson immediately prior to the acquisition. Sales for the Group during the last fiscal year were $379 million, and operating income for the period, restated for U.S. accounting principles, was over $16 million. The Group, which includes New Jersey Office Supply, Scott Rice, McQuiddy, Ross-Martin, Schwabacher Frey and Bayless Stationers has over 50 facilities in 19 states, including 14 distribution centers, and will generate over $400 million in revenue in the current fiscal year. This acquisition will bring Corporate Express' annual revenues to over $600 million.
 Jirka Rysavy, Chairman and CEO of Corporate Express said, "The acquisition of the Hanson Office Products Group is a major step forward in meeting the Corporate Express objective of becoming a nationwide corporate supplier of office products, furniture and computer supplies. We are extremely pleased with the opportunity to acquire the third largest U.S. contract stationer, providing Corporate Express with immediate access to many key markets. Hanson Office Products is a quality company with high quality people and will be an excellent fit with Corporate Express. A purchase price equal to approximately 40 percent of sales is a reasonable price for this much revenue, market coverage and potential."
 Corporate Express, with headquarters in Colorado, was founded in 1986 by Jirka Rysavy, the company's Chairman and CEO, and has grown rapidly as a result of a series of acquisitions. This privately-held company's principal shareholders are Mr. Rysavy, his management team and a group of industry investors including OfficeMax, Inc., a unit of Kmart Corporation; J.P. Morgan Investment Corporation; and Sprout Capital, an affiliate of Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette.
 -0- 11/23/93
 /CONTACT: Jirka Rysavy of Corporate Express, Inc., 303-373-8200/

CO: Corporate Express, Inc. ST: Colorado IN: SU: TNM

WB -- NY076 -- 7433 11/23/93 17:14 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Nov 23, 1993

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