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01 October 2004

Johnson Matthey Completes Acquisition of Lancaster Synthesis

 Johnson Matthey announces that it has completed the acquisition of the worldwide business of Lancaster Synthesis Limited (“Lancaster”) from Clariant AG (“Clariant”) for £2 million.

Johnson Matthey originally announced on 13th July 2004 that it had agreed to acquire the worldwide business of Lancaster from Clariant for £14 million. The transaction was conditional upon regulatory approval in Germany.

On 27th July 2004, prior to the completion of the acquisition, there was a serious fire at Lancaster’s UK premises which resulted in the destruction of its pilot scale manufacturing facility and the loss of most of its stock. Johnson Matthey and Clariant subsequently entered into, and have now concluded, negotiations to modify the terms of the proposed acquisition of Lancaster to reflect the impact of the fire on the Lancaster business. Under the revised terms Johnson Matthey will purchase the business and certain undamaged tangible assets of Lancaster whilst the property that was affected by the fire and the proceeds of any insurance claim will remain with Clariant.

Lancaster sells a wide range of organic chemicals mainly to industrial and academic research institutions. It has catalogue sales and laboratory scale manufacturing operations in Morecambe, UK and additional distribution facilities in the USA, Germany, France and India.

The business had sales of £19.6 million in 2003 and employs 225 people worldwide.

Lancaster’s operations remain an excellent fit with those of Johnson Matthey’s existing Research Chemicals business and its acquisition provides opportunities to improve market share and increase operating efficiencies.

Johnson Matthey will be taking a £2 million exceptional provision to integrate the Lancaster business with its existing operations.

Commenting on the acquisition Neil Carson, Chief Executive of Johnson Matthey said:

“Lancaster Synthesis remains an excellent fit with our existing Research Chemicals business. Despite the impact of the major fire that occurred on the Morecambe site on the 27th of July, we have been able to secure much of the value inherent in the Lancaster business with its strong brand and market franchise. The acquisition will allow the enlarged organisation to offer a greatly enhanced range of products and services to customers of both organisations.”

Johnson Matthey

John Sheldrick
Group Finance Director
020 7269 8438

Ian Godwin
Group Corporate Communications Manager
020 7269 8410

The HeadLand Consultancy

Howard Lee
020 7036 0369

Gavin Anderson & Co
Laura Hickman
020 7554 1400