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Oneida Ltd. to Sell Camden Wire Subsidiary; Oneida Announces Third Quarter Earnings and Dividends

ONEIDA, N.Y., Nov. 26 /PRNewswire/ -- Oneida Ltd. (NYSE: OCQ) today announced an agreement to sell for cash all the outstanding stock of Camden Wire Co., Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary, to a subsidiary of The Aarque Companies of Jamestown, N.Y.

The transaction involves a cash payment to Oneida of approximately $35.2 million and the assumption of Oneida's guarantee on $15.5 million in Camden Wire debt, for a total of approximately $51 million. This amount is subject to a post-closing adjustment to reflect changes, if any, in Camden Wire's book value. Closing of the transaction is subject to certain conditions being satisfied, but it is expected to be completed before Oneida's current fiscal year concludes January 25, 1997, Oneida Chairman William D. Matthews said.

Aarque was founded by R. Quintus Anderson, a member of the Oneida Ltd. Board of Directors. Aarque, a diversified metal fabricating firm, consists of several operating companies including Kardex Systems and Cold Metal Products Co.

Also today, Oneida reported improved earnings from continuing operations, excluding Camden Wire results, of 47 cents per share for the 1996 third quarter compared to 42 cents a year ago. For the first nine months of Oneida's fiscal year, earnings from continuing operations totaled 98 cents per share, up from 90 cents per share for the same period in 1995. Oneida's 1996 third quarter net income from continuing operations was $5,306,000 on sales of $101,280,000 for the three months ended October 26, up from net income of $4,740,000 on sales of $100,627,000 in last year's third quarter. The 1996 year-to-date net income from continuing operations was $10,929,000 on sales of $270,477,000, an increase over 1995 nine-month net income of $10,002,000 on sales of $270,275,000.

The Camden Wire sale is part of Oneida's strategy to focus on its tableware operations, Mr. Matthews said, noting Oneida's recent acquisition of Rego China. Oneida is the world's largest manufacturer of stainless steel and silverplated flatware for the consumer and foodservice tableware industries, and is also a major marketer of commercial dinnerware. Oneida has owned Camden Wire since 1977. In the 1995 fiscal year, Camden accounted for approximately $149 million of Oneida's total sales of nearly $514 million.

In other action, the Board of Directors of Oneida Ltd. declared the regular quarterly dividends of 13 cents per share on the common stock and 37-1/2 cents per share on the preferred stock, both payable December 30, 1996 to stockholders of record as of the close of business December 13, 1996. This will be the 244th consecutive cash dividend paid on common shares, covering the last 61 years.
 ONEIDA LTD. AND CONSOLIDATED SUBSIDIARIES
 Summarized Financial Information
 For The Three Months Ended For The Nine Months Ended
 October 26, October 28, October 26, October 28,
 1996 1995 1996 1995
 (In thousands except per share amounts)
 Net Sales $101,280 $100,627 $270,477 $270,275
 Gross Margin 35,233 34,704 93,289 93,398


Selling, General

and Administrative
 Expenses 24,757 24,654 70,323 70,836


Income from
 operations 10,574 10,167 23,328 22,974
 Interest Expense 1,603 1,795 4,677 5,411


Income from Continuing

Operations Before
 Income Taxes 8,727 7,979 17,984 16,741


Provision for
 Income Taxes 3,421 3,239 7,055 6,739


Income from

Continuing
 Operations 5,306 4,740 10,929 10,002


Discontinued

Operations

(Notes 1 and 2):

Income (loss) from

discontinued
 operations (105) 605 (304) 2,178


Loss from disposal

of discontinued
 operations (900) -- (900) --
 Total (1,005) 605 (1,204) 2,178
 Net Income 4,301 5,345 9,725 12,180


Earnings Per Share

of Common Stock:
 Continuing Operations .47 .42 .98 .90


Discontinued
 Operations (.09) .06 (.11) .20
 Net Income .38 .48 .87 1.10 Weighted Average Number of Common
 Shares Outstanding 11,162 11,089 11,129 10,993


Note 1 -- Camden Wire Co., Inc. has been accounted for as a discontinued operation as of October 26, 1996. The net operating results of this discontinued operation are included under the caption "Discontinued Operations."

Note 2 -- Loss on disposal of Camden Wire Co., Inc. includes certain tax attributes and expenses of the transaction.

This summary is based on unaudited figures.

SOURCE Oneida Ltd.
 -0- 11/26/96


/CONTACT: David A. Gymburch, Corporate Public Relations, of Oneida Ltd., 315-361-3271, http://www.prnewswire.com [Co. News section]/

(OCQ)

CO: Oneida Ltd.; Camden Wire Co. Inc.; Aarque Companies ST: New York IN: HOU SU: ERN DIV

GW-HD -- NYTU057 -- 4378 11/26/96 12:05 EST http://www.prnewswire.com
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