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NOVA CORPORATION EXCHANGES METHANOL ASSETS FOR SHARES IN METHANEX

 CALGARY, Alberta, Dec. 9 /PRNewswire/ -- NOVA Corporation of Alberta (NYSE: NVA) announced today a series of transactions that will result in NOVA owning approximately a 24 percent interest in Methanex Corporation. Vancouver-based Methanex is a major producer of methanol, with about 10 percent share of world production. The purchase will make NOVA the largest single shareholder in Methanex.
 This transaction will involve four aspects. They are:
 1) The sale to Methanex of NOVA's methanol assets. NOVA operates three plants in Medicine Hat, Alberta. This transaction will be completed by the issue by Methanex of 23 million common shares.
 2) NOVA will make a cash purchase of an additional two million common shares to be issued by Methanex.
 3) NOVA will purchase 6,443,000 Methanex common shares from Metallgesellschaft Corp., a major shareholder in Methanex.
 4) NOVA will also purchase 15,503,876 Methanex common shares from Fletcher Challenge, Methanex's other major shareholder, and provide Fletcher Challenge with the opportunity over approximately the next 15 months to realize additional value. Concurrently, Fletcher Challenge will take to market all its remaining shares in Methanex.
 The current market value of the common shares to be issued to NOVA for the purchase of the methanol assets is estimated at US$190 million. NOVA's cash commitment for the balance of the shares will total approximately US$185 million. The transaction is subject to regulatory approvals and other customary conditions. In making the announcement, Terry Poole, NOVA senior vice president, said, "This agreement provides NOVA with the opportunity to participate with one of the world's leading suppliers in the growing methanol industry." Poole also said that the agreement fits NOVA's overall corporate strategy of concentrating only on businesses, such as Methanex, that are of a size that offer growth potential and positive returns to its shareholders.
 NOVA currently intends to hold the Methanex shares for investment purposes. NOVA has no current intention to purchase additional shares in Methanex. NOVA expects to approach Methanex regarding representation on the Methanex Board of Directors. Through the purchase, Methanex gains three manufacturing plants which are recognized as high quality performers. In addition, NOVA has built a strong marketing presence for methanol in markets throughout North America and the Far East.
 Methanol is widely used in construction and transportation fuel industries around the world.
 -0- 12/9/93
 /CONTACT: Terry Poole, Senior Vice President, 203-290-7714; Bill Rowe, Investor Relations, 403-290-7807; or Paul Clark, Public Affairs, 403-290-7603, all of NOVA/
 (NVA. MX. FLC.)


CO: Metallgesellschaft Corp.; Fletcher Challenge; Nova Corporation
 of Alberta; Methanex Corporation ST: Alberta IN: OIL SU: TNM


SP -- NY029 -- 2160 12/09/93 11:08 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Dec 9, 1993
Words:438
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