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ENGLISH CHINA CLAYS ANNOUNCES AGREEMENT TO ACQUIRE MERCK'S SPECIALTY CHEMICALS BUSINESS

-- English China Clays to Pursue Spinoff of Its Construction Materials
 Business; Expects 1993 Dividend to At Least Equal 1992 Dividend --
 NEW YORK, June 11 /PRNewswire/ -- English China Clays plc (NYSE: ENC), the world's leading producer of kaolin, today announced an agreement to acquire Merck & Co.'s (NYSE: MRK) specialty chemicals business, Calgon Water Management, for approximately $307.5 million.
 The transaction will be financed through a rights issue and bank borrowings.
 With sales of approximately $225 million, Calgon is a leading U.S.- based producer and supplier of specialty chemicals and provider of related services for water treatment, paper-making, cosmetics, surface treatment and other industrial uses. It has been a producer of specialty chemicals since 1918. Headquartered in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Calgon employs approximately 1,300 staff, mostly in the U.S.
 Commenting on today's announcement, Andrew Teare, English China Clays' Chief Executive Officer, said; "Over the past year, we have been seeking international investment opportunities where we could apply our high quality research and development activities to add value to technically based businesses. The proposed acquisition of Calgon is a significant development for us and has a clear commercial and technical rationale."
 English China Clays said it expects to:
 -- expand Calgon's sales to the North American paper industry, with
 the advantage of English China Clays' technical and market
 knowledge;
 -- develop Calgon's business outside the U.S., taking advantage of
 English China Clays' sales and distribution network covering some
 100 countries and drawing on its experience of managing an
 international business; and
 -- source from Calgon certain chemicals required by English
 China Clays' operations, where this is cost effective. English
 China Clays' industrial minerals operation spends approximately
 20 million pounds sterling a year on chemicals.
 In addition, English China Clays' and Calgon will apply their combined R&D resources in "liquids/solids" technology, aiming at the development over the medium term of new products and services for both English China Clays' and Calgon's customer industries; this will involve both Calgon's highly qualified R&D department in Pittsburgh, on which Calgon spent $9.9 million in the year ended December 31, 1992, and English China Clays' laboratories in the United Kingdom and U.S.
 The acquisition is subject to regulatory review under the Hart- Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act of 1976, as amended.
 In a related announcement, English China Clays said it has decided to pursue the spinoff of its construction materials interests as part of its strategy to reposition the Company in international businesses which add value through technological know-how. ECC Construction Materials, with over 4,000 employees, quarries and supplies aggregates, manufactures and supplies concrete products and is also engaged in road surfacing, principally in the United Kingdom and the U.S. In the year ended December 31, 1992, it had sales of 352.4 million pounds and operating profits before exceptional items of 15.5 million pounds.
 ECC said that in the absence of unforeseen circumstances it expects the dividend for 1993 to be at least equal to the dividend for 1992.
 English China Clays is the world's leading producer of kaolin, one of the most important minerals used in the manufacture of paper. The Company's construction materials activities also include the production of aggregates and coated stone. English China Clays' U.S. operations are headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia. The U.S. accounts for approximately 20 percent of the Company's sales, 30 percent of its profits and 40 percent of its asset base.
 -0- 6/11/93
 /CONTACT: William J. Jenks or Jeffrey G. Gibson, both of Broadgate Consultants, Inc., 212-229-2222, for English China Clays/
 (ENC MRK)


CO: English China Clays plc; Merck & Co. ST: New York IN: CHM SU: TNM

TM -- NY004 -- 0915 06/11/93 06:19 EST
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Date:Jun 11, 1993
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