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METHANEX ANNOUNCES MAJOR METHANOL ACQUISITION

 VANCOUVER, British Columbia, Dec. 9 /PRNewswire/ -- Methanex Corporation (NASDAQ-NMS: MEOHF) of Vancouver, Canada, announces a proposed major acquisition of the assets of the methanol operations of NOVA Corporation (NYSE: NVA) of Alberta.
 When the transaction becomes effective Methanex will be acquiring the methanol assets of NOVA which are located at Medicine Hat, Alberta. In exchange Methanex will issue 23 million shares to NOVA at an aggregate amount of approximately U.S. $190 million. In addition NOVA will purchase 2 million treasury shares of Methanex for approximately US $16 million.
 The facilities being acquired principally comprise three production plants having an annual production capacity of approximately 1.12 million tonnes.
 The transaction is conditional upon regulatory approvals and other customary conditions.
 Dr. Brian Hannan, CEO of Methanex said that "the acquisition of the methanol operations of NOVA will enable Methanex to enhance its position as a global corporation. The assets to be acquired from NOVA are strategically located so as to be close to abundant natural gas reserves and major Canadian and US customers. In addition considerable synergies in production, distribution and marketing should emerge from the combined facilities."
 Dr. Hannan also stated that "this transaction will strengthen the company by increasing operating leverage, that is production capacity per share, while lowering debt load both as a portion of total capitalization and per unit of production. By completing this acquisition, Methanex continues to put its confidence in the future of the methanol industry, particularly with the emergence of MTBE to satisfy the mandated use of oxygenates in gasoline in the United States following the passage of the Clear Air Act in 1990." MTBE uses methanol as a feedstock (36 percent by weight) and demand for the product is anticipated by Methanex to build in other parts of the world as they follow the United States' lead in environmental and octane requirements for cleaner burning gasoline.
 After the transaction and the addition of potential new capacity over the next 14 months in the United States and New Zealand, Methanex will be capable of producing and marketing on a worldwide basis more than 6.0 million tonnes of methanol per annum.
 Separately Methanex understands that Nova will purchase a portion of common shares of Methanex currently held by Fletcher Challenge Limited and Metallgesellschaft Corp., Methanex's current principal shareholders.
 Methanex also understands that Fletcher Challenge has agreed to sell the balance of its common shares in Methanex, by way of installment receipts to a syndicate of Canadian investment dealers.
 After giving effect to these sales NOVA will own approximately 24 percent and become Methanex's largest shareholder and Metallgesellschaft will own approximately 6 percent.
 Methanex is a Vancouver based publicly traded company engaged primarily in the worldwide production and marketing of Methanol.
 Methanex's shares are listed for trading on the Toronto and Montreal Stock Exchanges in Canada under the trading symbol "MX" and on the NASDAQ NMS in the United States under the trading symbol "MEOHF".
 -0- 12/09/93
 /CONTACT: Brian N.B. Hannan, Brooke N. Wade, or Ronald J. Russell, 604-684-7500 all for Methanex/
 (MEOHF NVA)


CO: Methanex Corporation; NOVA Corporation ST: British Columbia IN: OIL SU: TNM

SH -- NY032 -- 2165 12/09/93 11:13 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Dec 9, 1993
Words:534
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