Coatings sale brings Cookson to £100million target -

Coatings sale brings Cookson to £100million target

LONDON — Cookson Group has continued the strategy of disposing of non core activities started in January 2005 with the sale of Speciality Coating Systems (SCS), a business which forms part of the Assembly Materials sector of Cookson's Electronics division, to Bunker Hill Capital for $55.5 million (£32.3 million).

There is an immediate cash payment of $54.0 million (£31.4 million), with an additional $1.5million (£0.9 million) to be paid upon closing of the sale of the SCS China business in early 2006.

SCS comprises a group of companies and business assets with its main operations in the U.S., Europe and Asia-Pacific. Its primary business is the service application of a specialty conformal coating product principally for use in automotive, electronic and medical applications.

For the year ended 31 December 2004, SCS generated a trading profit of £4.3 million on revenue of £19 million. As at 31 December 2004, SCS had gross assets of £18 million and gross liabilities of £2 million.

Cookson is to consider using some of the cash generated to make advanced payments into its U.K. pension scheme to reduce the existing deficit.

On 15 December a conditional agreement was entered into to sell Cookson's Laminates business for $91 million (£53 million) Isola Group S.A.R.L. which is ultimately owned by Texas Pacific Group. On completion of that disposal (expected in February 2006) together with some further property disposals completed recently and including the proceeds from this transaction, Cookson will have generated disposal proceeds of over £100 million which was its target for the end of 2006.

Laminates, one of the three business sectors which comprise Cookson's Electronics division, supplies laminates, prepregs and other substrate material products for the manufacture of printed circuit boards under its trading name, Polyclad.

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