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ICI AND DU PONT AGREE ON NYLON AND ACRYLICS BUSINESS TRANSACTIONS

 ICI AND DU PONT AGREE ON NYLON AND ACRYLICS BUSINESS TRANSACTIONS
 NEW YORK, April 23 /PRNewswire/ -- Imperial Chemical Industries PLC (NYSE: ICI), and Du Pont announced today that they have reached agreement in principle on two transactions by which ICI will acquire Du Pont's acrylics business in the United States and Du Pont will acquire ICI's European-based nylon business. The two transactions will be balanced by a value difference to ICI of approximately 250 million pounds sterling ($430 million) payable in cash with the precise consideration to be set after examination of working capital differences and other factors.
 Under the terms of one of the proposed transactions ICI will acquire Du Pont's methyl methacrylate (MMA) manufacturing plants at Beaumont, Texas and Memphis, Tennessee as well as acrylic cast sheet facilities at the latter location, and specialist products made on smaller units in West Virginia and Delaware. The business to be acquired had total sales in 1991 of about 160 million pounds sterling ($300 million). Employees, and assets at Beaumont and Memphis, will transfer to ICI.
 Sir Denys Henderson, chairman of ICI, commented: "This major reshaping further reinforces ICI Acrylics' integrated global position, and gives ICI a stronger presence in the North American market. The transaction is in line with ICI's strategy of focusing its capital and resources on selected businesses which can develop fully competitive and profitable global positions. It fulfills an additional part of ICI's Acrylics strategy to have a strong market position, backed up by modern and competitive production facilities in the three major territories - North America, Europe and Asia Pacific. When the transaction is complete, ICI will be a world leader in the acrylics business.
 "The acquisition of the Du Pont business coupled with our recent 200 million pounds sterling ($350 million) investments in additional capacity provides a solid base for future growth. It will enable us to provide even better services to our customers and will ensure a secure future for our employees in this business," added Sir Denys.
 This will be the third and most important ICI acrylics acquisition made in the US in the past three years -- K-S-H Inc. in 1989 and Continental Polymers, Inc. in 1991 were both manufacturers of acrylic extruded sheet and moulding pellets.
 They were merged as ICI Acrylics, Inc., which has its headquarters in St. Louis, Mo. Under the terms of a second transaction, Du Pont will acquire the ICI nylon intermediates, fibres and engineering plastics businesses. The manufacturing facilities involved include the fibre production sites at Pontypool, Doncaster, and Gloucester in the U.K. and Oestringen in Germany; nylon chemical intermediates at Wilton; engineering plastics at Billingham, UK, and Rozenburg in the Netherlands; polymer production at Wilton and Rozenburg; and Camtex Ltd. (non-wovens) at Workington, UK. The combined sales of these businesses in 1991 amounted to about 600 million pounds sterling ($1 billion). Employees and assets will transfer to Du Pont. Profit on disposal of the business will be used by ICI for general business purposes.
 "ICI Fibres is a business with strong technological and marketing strengths in Europe, but has not been selected by ICI as a global business. Tribute must be paid to the employees of the business who have worked long and hard over many years to compete in this tough market area. I am sure the business and the employees will benefit from being incorporated into Du Pont's much larger and broader operations," said Sir Denys.
 "The restructuring we have agreed is good for both companies and their shareholders, and is an example of the reshaping which the chemical industry needs."
 Subject to the normal regulatory and statutory approvals in Europe and the U.S., the acquisitions are planned to be complete before the end of 1992. Further announcements on these transactions will be made in due course.
 Imperial Chemical Industries PLC (ICI), based in London, is one of the world's lead ?science-based companies with manufacturing operations in 40 countries and annual sales of approximately $23 billion. In North America, including the U.S., Canada and Mexico, ICI employs about 25,000 people and has annual sales of more than $6 billion.
 Background
 ICI ACRYLICS
 ICI Acrylics is a leading world supplier to the sanitary ware, paint, sign-making and automotive industries with an annual sales of 300 million pounds sterling ($510 million). The combined businesses of ICI and Du Pont will have total sales exceeding 500 million pounds sterling ($850 million) a year. Historically, the business has had a return on sales of around 15 percent although the current recession has depressed these results in the short term. Globally, acrylics growth maintains a premium of one percent to two percent over the Industrial Production Index.
 Background
 The business produces some of ICI's most innovative materials such as "Asterite" and "Avron" from methyl methacrylate (MMA). Perhaps best known to the general public for "Perspex" acrylic sheet used in aircraft windows and commercial and illuminated signs, and in a range of colors in baths and shower trays, ICI Acrylics also produces "Diakon" used to make multi colored rear car lights, and "Asterite" acrylic resins used to produce molded sinks and vanity units. "Modar" has recently won a prestigious US award for its use for body panels in the soon-to-be- launched Chrysler Viper sports car.
 Acrylics is a high added-value business which requires a high degree of customer involvement. In 1987, ICI's upstream and downstream acrylics businesses were combined into one business unit in ICI. Since then, ICI has invested both in improving plants and by acquisition to strengthen the business. For example:
 -- 20 million pounds sterling has been invested in Darwen, Lancashire to increase "Perspex" acrylic sheet capacity;
 -- 50 million pounds sterling was invested in the Taiwanese joint venture KMC to expand MMA production and improve environmental performance;
 -- more than 110 million pounds sterling is being invested in MMA expansion and environmental improvements at Billingham, Cleveland;
 -- additional production capacity and market position was achieved by the purchase of K-S-H Inc., a St. Louis based company, in 1989;
 -- the purchase of Continental Polymers Inc. in 1991 built up ICI's downstream acrylics business in North America, now combined with K-S-H as ICI Acrylics.
 Products
 The business produces a family of methyl methacrylat monomers (MMA) at Billingham in north-east England, and in Taiwan through a 60 percent owned joint venture KMC. By mid 1992, monomer capacity will be 225,000 tons/year in Billingham and 73,000 tpa in Taiwan.
 ICI also has a total of 85,000 tons of molding powder capacity, and 70,000 tons of sheet capacity worldwide.
 The product range includes:
 -- methacrylate monomers supplied to the paints, adhesives and surface coatings industries, including ICI Paints, the world market leader, well known for its "Dulux" and Glidden brands; "Perspex", K- Lux", and "K-Lite" acrylic sheet with a wide range of uses from illuminated signs to sanitary ware and greenhouse windows; "Diakon" and "Perspex" moulding polymers used in light fittings for the automotive industry; "Asterite" acrylic dispersion used in molded kitchen sinks; "Avron" acrylic composite used for moulded bathroom and kitchen units; "Modar" resin systems used for automotive, transport and cable tray applications; and the "K-Lite" lighting products of ICI Acrylics Inc. The business also produces cyanides for gold extraction and electroplating.
 Customer Industries
 Sanitary and kitchen ware, aerospace, transport, sign-making, automotive, lighting, ore extraction, domestic appliances, medicine and medical equipment, paints and surface coatings.
 Main Production Locations
 -- Europe; UK (Darwen and Billingham); Netherlands (Rozenburg); France (Clairvaux)
 -- North America; USA (Memphis, Tennessee, Olive Branch, Mississippi and Los Angeles); Canada (Mississauga, Ontario)
 -- Asia Pacific; Taiwan (Kaohsiung); Australia (Gladstone, Queensland); Japan (Ibraki)
 Employees
 Circa 2,200 worldwide.
 -0- 4/23/92
 /CONTACT: Pat Preston, 212-644-9292, or (investors) Vincent Leheny, 212-644-9274, both of Imperial Chemical Industries/
 (ICI) CO: Imperial Chemical Industries PLC; Du Pont ST: New York IN: CHM SU:


TS -- NY012 -- 1606 04/23/92 07:29 EDT
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