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PEABODY AND COSTAIN SIGN SETTLEMENT AGREEMENT OVER AUSTRALIAN COAL ASSETS

 NEW YORK, March 18 /PRNewswire/ -- David H. Clarke, Deputy Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Hanson Industries, the U.S. arm of Hanson PLC (NYSE: HAN) announced today that Peabody Resources (UK) and Peabody Holding Company, have signed an agreement with Costain Group PLC which will end their dispute concerning the purchase of Costain's Australian coal assets and allow Peabody Resources to proceed toward the acquisition of these assets as outlined in their original agreement signed on October 20, 1992. Following the execution of the settlement agreement, Costain's appeal of Peabody's permanent injunction issued in St. Louis was withdrawn.
 As provided in their original purchase agreement, Costain will receive from Peabody Resources US$200 million plus a net asset adjustment, subject to a final audit, estimated to be US$34 million based on today's exchange rate. Peabody Resources will also assume the borrowings, including capitalized lease obligations, attributable to the coal operations, of approximately US$65 million at the closing. In addition, Peabody and Costain will dismiss their respective lawsuits and drop claims against each other for damages and costs, contingent upon completion of the transaction.
 It is anticipated that the transaction between Peabody Resources and Costain will be completed promptly. Completion of this transaction is subject to obtaining requisite approvals.
 Mr. Clarke said, "the agreement will now enable Peabody, one of Hanson's core business units, to expand into Pacific Rim coal markets. We are pleased with the resolution of this dispute and look forward to working with Costain to complete this acquisition."
 The acquisition will bring Peabody an estimated 663 million tonnes of low-sulfur reserves and resources including full or partial ownership of three Australian surface mines.
 Peabody Holding Company, the largest coal producer in the United States, is a unit of Hanson Industries, the U.S. arm of Hanson PLC.
 Hanson PLC is a British -American industrial management corporation. In the U.S., Hanson Industries' operations include Peabody Coal, SCM Chemicals, Cavenham Forest Industries, Grove Crane, Jacuzzi, Tommy Armour Golf, Ames Tools, Farberware Cookware, and Hanson Lighting Group, among others.
 In the United Kingdom, Hanson's holdings include Imperial Tobacco, ARC Aggregates, London Brick, Butterly Brick, Beazer Homes and Smith Meters.
 -0- 3/18/93
 /CONTACT: Mickey Foster of Hanson Industries, 908-603-6977/
 (HAN)


CO: Hanson Industries; Peabody Holding Company; Costain Group PLC ST: New York IN: MNG SU:

SB -- NY079 -- 7622 03/18/93 16:15 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Mar 18, 1993
Words:398
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