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11 February 2002

Johnson Matthey Acquires Avocado Research Chemicals

Johnson Matthey announces that it has acquired Avocado Research Chemicals Limited ("Avocado") a leader in the manufacture and supply of organic compounds for use in research laboratories.

Based in Heysham, Lancashire and employing around 70 people, Avocado has an excellent reputation as a supplier of specialised organic chemical products via its well-established catalogue. It also provides a custom synthesis service and sales of semi-bulk quantities of chemicals to its customers who are predominantly in the fine chemical and pharmaceutical industries as well as serving contract and academic research. It is already a significant supplier to Johnson Matthey, which has been its distributor in the US for five years.

Avocado will be integrated into Johnson Matthey's Research Chemicals Business, which has fast growing catalogue and Internet based sales operations established in the United States and Germany. The acquisition of Avocado offers important synergies in terms of product range, customer base and geographic coverage.

The initial purchase price of £25 million is subject to adjustment, based on subsequent performance of the Avocado business, up to a maximum of £34 million. Unaudited results for the year to 31st December 2001 showed an operating profit of £3.3 million.

Commenting on the acquisition Chris Clark, Chief Executive of Johnson Matthey, said:

"This is a further example of our strategy of making niche acquisitions in our core catalysts and chemicals businesses. We are delighted to have been able to acquire Avocado. It is a business that we know well and it provides an excellent fit with our existing Research Chemicals Business, an area that has achieved good growth in recent years."


Johnson Matthey

John Sheldrick
Group Finance Director
Tel: +44 (0)20 7269 8438

Ian Godwin
Group Public Relations Manager
Tel: +44 (0)20 7269 8410