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   Strategies & Market TrendsSpeculating in Takeover Targets


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To: richardred who wrote (2008)3/17/2008 11:51:11 AM
From: richardred
   of 6101
 
Griffon Names Kramer As Its New CEO
Monday March 17, 9:40 am ET
Griffon Names Ronald Kramer Chief Executive to Succeed Retiring Harvey Blau

JERICHO, N.Y. (AP) -- Engineering company Griffon Corp. said Monday it named Ronald J. Kramer chief executive, effective April 1.

Kramer, 49, will succeed the retiring Harvey R. Blau, who will remain as non-executive chairman of the board. Kramer has served as a Griffon board member since 1993 and is also vice chairman.

Kramer currently serves as president of Las Vegas-based casino operator Wynn Resorts Ltd., where he is also a director.

Griffon shares fell 23 cents, or 3 percent, to $7.55 in morning trading.

biz.yahoo.com

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To: richardred who wrote (2010)3/17/2008 11:57:32 AM
From: richardred
   of 6101
 
snip>Mr. Kramer has over twenty years experience in mergers and acquisitions and debt and equity offerings

Griffon Corporation Names Ronald J. Kramer Chief Executive Officer
Monday March 17, 9:00 am ET

JERICHO, N.Y., March 17 /PRNewswire/ -- Griffon Corporation (NYSE: GFF - News) today announced that its Board of Directors has named Ronald J. Kramer as Chief Executive Officer of Griffon, effective April 1, 2008. Mr. Kramer currently is President and a director of Wynn Resorts, Ltd. (Nasdaq: WYNN - News). Mr. Kramer will succeed Harvey R. Blau as CEO. Mr. Blau is retiring as CEO but will continue to serve as non-executive Chairman of the Board of Directors.

Harvey R. Blau said, "Today's decision is the culmination of a thoughtful and disciplined process, and we are very pleased that Ron Kramer will be Griffon's new CEO. We are confident that he will bring the right mix of strategic insight and operational discipline needed to manage our company in this environment and grow it in the future. I will work closely with Ron to ensure a smooth transition."

"Having been a Board member of Griffon since 1993, I know the company and its business segments very well. I look forward to working with the Board and management team to address the challenges in our business while remaining focused on building value for our shareholders," said Mr. Kramer.

Mr. Ronald J. Kramer, 49, has been a director since 1993 and Vice Chairman of the Board since November 2003. Since 2002, Mr. Kramer has served as President and as a director of Wynn Resorts, Ltd, (Nasdaq: WYNN - News) the preeminent developer and operator of hotel casino resorts. From 1999 to 2001, he was a Managing Director at Dresdner Kleinwort Wasserstein, an investment banking firm, and at its predecessor Wasserstein Perella & Co. Mr. Kramer has over twenty years experience in mergers and acquisitions and debt and equity offerings. Mr. Kramer is also a member of the Board of Directors of Monster Worldwide, Inc., and Sapphire Industrials Corp. Mr. Kramer holds a Bachelor of Science degree from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, and a Masters in Business Administration from New York University.

Griffon Corporation-

-- is a leading manufacturer and marketer of residential, commercial and

industrial garage doors sold to professional installing dealers and

major home center retail chains;

-- installs and services specialty building products and systems,

primarily garage doors, openers, fireplaces and cabinets, for new

construction markets through a substantial network of operations

located throughout the country;

-- is an international leader in the development and production of

embossed and laminated specialty plastic films used in the baby diaper,

feminine napkin, adult incontinent, surgical and patient care markets.

-- develops and manufacturers information and communication systems for

government and commercial markets worldwide.

"Safe Harbor" Statement under the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995: All statements other than statements of historical fact included in this release, including without limitation statements regarding the company's financial position, business strategy and the plans and objectives of the company's management for future operations, are forward-looking statements. When used in this release, words such as "anticipate", "believe", "estimate", "expect", "intend", and similar expressions, as they relate to the company or its management, identify forward-looking statements. Such forward-looking statements are based on the beliefs of the company's management, as well as assumptions made by and information currently available to the company's management. Actual results could differ materially from those contemplated by the forward-looking statements as a result of certain factors, including but not limited to, business and economic conditions, including, but not limited to, the housing market, results of integrating acquired businesses into existing operations, competitive factors and pricing pressures for resin and steel and capacity and supply constraints. Such statements reflect the views of the company with respect to future events and are subject to these and other risks, uncertainties and assumptions relating to the operations, results of operations, growth strategy and liquidity of the company as previously disclosed in the company's Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended September 30, 2007 in response to Item 1A to Part I of Form 10-K. Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements. The company does not undertake to release publicly any revisions to these forward- looking statements to reflect future events or circumstances or to reflect the occurrence of unanticipated events.

Contact: Jamie Moser

Joele Frank, Wilkinson Brimmer Katcher
(212)355-4449

Source: Griffon Corporation
biz.yahoo.com

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From: richardred3/18/2008 12:31:45 AM
   of 6101
 
Int'l Paper to buy Weyerhaeuser unit for $6 billion
Monday March 17, 10:10 am ET
By Euan Rocha

NEW YORK (Reuters) - International Paper (NYSE:IP - News) said on Monday it has agreed to acquire Weyerhaeuser Co's (NYSE:WY - News) packaging business for $6 billion, making it North America's largest corrugated box maker.

The paper and packaging industry in North America and Europe has been consolidating and reducing production capacity in a bid to tackle soaring raw material costs and dwindling demand for paper due to the increasing influence of the Internet.

"This is an acquisition that is being made not for next quarter's earnings, but to position International Paper for 2010," said International Paper's chief executive, John Faraci, in an interview with Reuters.

International Paper has shed a large part of its non-core operations, including the bulk of its once vast timberland assets, while expanding the company through investments in South America and Eastern Europe.

"This deal is a win, win, win," said Longbow Research analyst Joshua Zaret, "It's a win for International Paper, a win for Weyerhaeuser and a win for the industry."

Memphis, Tennessee-based International Paper said because the transaction is a purchase of assets rather than of stock the company will realize a tax benefit of about $1.4 billion. Taking this benefit into account, the net purchase price is about $4.6 billion.

Shares of International Paper were down 5.6 percent to $30.46 in early trade on the New York Stock Exchange, while those of Weyerhaeuser rose 2 percent to $63.25.

International Paper said it expects the deal to boost its 2009 earnings and it anticipates about $400 million in annual cost savings from the deal, with about 40 percent of those savings being realized within 12 months of closing the deal. The deal is expected to close in the third quarter.

IP said it had secured $6 billion in loans to finance the purchase, including an 18-month term loan for $4 billion. It declined to comment on the terms of that loan.

"The decision we made a couple of years ago to keep our balance sheet strong, pay down debt and maintain our financial flexibility has really paid off," said Faraci, adding that this gave the company an advantage over other competitors in the current credit environment.

Temple Inland Inc (NYSE:TIN - News) and Smurfit-Stone Container Corp (NasdaqGS:SSCC - News) had also been linked with a possible bid for the Weyerhaeuser assets. But with the current credit environment analysts had become increasingly skeptical about their chances of pulling-off such a deal.

Faraci said including cost savings, he expects the deal to generate earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization of over $1 billion.

The acquisition includes nine containerboard mills, 72 packaging locations, along with a host of other facilities and affects about 14,300 employees.

Weyerhaeuser, which announced that it was exploring the possible sale of its packaging business in May 2007, can now focus more on its key timberland assets.

The company has in recent months been badly hurt by the slump in the U.S. housing market, which has hurt its wood products and real estate businesses.

"People believe that Weyerhaeuser is still an asset play and this deal certainly does nothing to change that view, if anything it enhances that view," said Zaret.

(Reporting by Euan Rocha; Additional reporting by Matt Daily and Yinka Adegoke editing by Dave Zimmerman)
biz.yahoo.com

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From: richardred3/19/2008 12:55:39 AM
   of 6101
 
Campbell Completes Sale of Godiva Chocolatier Business to Yildiz Holding A.S. for $850 Million
Tuesday March 18, 5:15 pm ET
$600 Million of Proceeds to Be Used to Fund New Share Repurchase Plan; Company Updates Guidance for Fiscal 2008

CAMDEN, N.J.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Campbell Soup Company (NYSE:CPB - News) today announced it has completed the sale of its Godiva Chocolatier business to Yildiz Holding A.S. for $850 million. Campbell announced the agreement of sale on December 20, 2007.

Campbell also announced today that its Board of Directors has authorized using approximately $600 million of the net proceeds of the sale of Godiva to purchase company stock in open market transactions. The company expects these purchases to be substantially completed in fiscal 2008. This share repurchase authority is in addition to Campbell’s ongoing practice of buying back shares sufficient to offset shares issued under incentive compensation plans.

Following the divestiture of the Godiva business, Campbell updated its fiscal 2008 sales and earnings guidance. For fiscal 2008, the company expects its continuing operations to deliver sales growth in excess of its long-term target range of between 3 and 4 percent, due in part to the favorable impact of currency and a 53rd week of sales in the fiscal year. Campbell expects to deliver EBIT growth from continuing operations between 5 and 7 percent from the fiscal 2007 adjusted base of $1.200 billion. Excluding items impacting comparability, the company expects adjusted net earnings per share growth between 5 and 7 percent from the fiscal 2007 adjusted base of $1.95, which is unchanged from previous guidance. While Campbell expects the divestiture will be accretive to earnings per share in fiscal 2008, the company intends to make additional investments in brand building and cost reduction initiatives.

Detailed financial information outlining the historical pro forma impact of the transaction and the anticipated use of proceeds is being made available through a public filing.

Douglas R. Conant, Campbell's President and Chief Executive Officer, said, “This latest share repurchase program represents our ongoing confidence in our more focused portfolio and is a continuation of our commitment to deliver strong investor returns.”

Godiva has annual sales of approximately $500 million.
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To: richardred who wrote (1973)3/19/2008 10:41:51 AM
From: richardred
   of 6101
 
Kapstone Is Poised for Growth in the Paper Market
posted on: March 19, 2008 |

*

Kapstone Paper and Packaging (KPPC) is a manufacturer of kraft paper, linerboard and dunnage bags in the U.S. I find the company to be an excellent cash flow and balance sheet play with strong earnings numbers and at a reasonable, even cheap, valuation.

Kapstone just announced their fourth quarter numbers earning .23/share, up 46% over last year. For the year they earned a solid .75/share against a 6.55 share price at the close yesterday giving them a PE of a modest 8.5. Its EV/EBITDA is under 3. Not only is it reasonably priced from an earnings perspective, but the company generated enormous free cash flow over the last year of roughly 1.10/share, which means it's trading at about 6 times free cash flow.

The balance sheet is excellent with their cash and receivables of 86 million exceeding all balance sheet liabilities. Book value is roughly 4.00 per diluted share.

Prospects:
There are reasons for optimism for the company's prospects going forward. First there was a major capacity contraction in the kraft paper business in recent years. This has pushed up the price of kraft paper and in fact is still pushing up prices. The company recently announced another price increase of $40 a ton which will partially benefit Q1 results and will fully benefit Q2 results. There is expected to be an increase in linerboard prices also. Increases in prices naturally flow straight to the company's bottom line.

Recent consolidation in the industry should help also. International Paper (IP) recently purchased Weyerhaeuser's (WY) containerboard business, which is expected to have a positive impact on the industry due to an expected reduction of capacity, according to Claudia Hueston at JP Morgan. The company stated on its conference call that it expects this to be a positive for the industry as well.

Finally I will engage in a bit of pure speculation here on another positive for the market for Kapstone's products. Kraft paper, which is a large share of its business, finds its heaviest use in paper grocery bags. This business was shattered over the last 20 years as paper was largely replaced by plastic. I suspect that trend may reverse. There is a strong environmental movement to restrict or ban the use of thin plastic grocery bags. The bags were banned in San Francisco last year and in January China banned them as well. Ireland in effect taxed them into oblivion back in 2002. The economics here seem interesting as a plastic bag costs about 2 cents. A paper bag costs about 5 cents and various plastic substitute bags are in the range of fifteen cents. I expect this environmental movement to pick up steam and I expect the net result to be that grocers will be using more paper bags at checkout. Indeed that is what has happened in San Francisco. The economics of the grocery industry with their razor-thin margins just don't allow ultra-expensive alternatives.

Insider buys:
If that isn't a reason for optimism, then insider activity may be. Insiders over the past 6 months have made net purchases of almost 250,000 shares at prices up to 7.26 well above current price levels.

The negatives:
There is not much growth baked into the cake here that does not involve price increases. The company has stated it is interested in acquisitions, and it certainly has the balance sheet to pull them off, but growth should be rather modest, based on existing business.

The company is also sensitive to changes in the costs of its inputs. Energy costs, transportation, wood chips, chemicals etc. all have an effect on margins. The company has stated that the prices on wood chips remains stable however they have obviously seen an increase in energy costs, and chemical costs have also increased. The company's pricing power should more than compensate for these factors, but it is important to keep them in mind.

seekingalpha.com

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To: richardred who wrote (2007)3/19/2008 12:23:38 PM
From: richardred
   of 6101
 
Spartech Announces Restructuring and Improvement Measures
Wednesday March 19, 11:00 am ET

ST. LOUIS, March 19 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Spartech Corporation (NYSE: SEH - News) announced today the next step in its ongoing performance improvement plan.

The Company has announced a restructuring effort resulting in a reduction in its overall headcount of 350 positions, representing approximately 10% of the total workforce. The headcount reduction, which includes both manufacturing and office personnel, is expected to be substantially completed within the next few days. As part of this effort, the Company also announced plans to shut down production at its Mankato, Minnesota sheet facility and to relocate this business to other Spartech production facilities. Completion of the Mankato consolidation initiative is expected by August 2008.

Myles Odaniell, Spartech's Chief Executive Officer stated, "Since I assumed my position in January, I have been evaluating the Company's operational structure and strategies while leading the development of a comprehensive plan designed to substantially improve our performance. The reduction in personnel that was effective today and the Mankato consolidation are actions that will allow us to better align our costs with the current economic and demand environment and better position Spartech for the long term."

Mr. Odaniell continued, "This action has been carefully considered at all levels of management and we expect it to have no impact on our ability to serve our customers. A significant portion of the Mankato production will be moved to existing available capacity and we will take all necessary actions to ensure seamless customer transitions. While we regret the need to terminate valued employees, this action is consistent with our intent to build a low- cost infrastructure and improve our competitive position. We will continue to work on additional steps to substantively improve our company as a part of our ongoing performance improvement plan."

The Company expects the restructuring actions included in this release will reduce consolidated operating expenses by approximately $9 million in fiscal 2008 and $16 million on an annual prospective basis after completion, and result in approximately $3 million of restructuring expenses consisting mostly of cash-related items.

Spartech Corporation is a leading producer of engineered thermoplastic sheet materials, thermoformed packaging, polymeric compounds and concentrates, and engineered product solutions. The Company has facilities located throughout the United States, Canada, Mexico, and Europe with annual sales of approximately $1.5 billion.

Safe Harbor For Forward-Looking Statements

This press release contains "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. "Forward-looking statements" within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 relate to future events and expectations, include statements containing such words as "anticipates," "believes," "estimates," "expects," "would," "should," "will," "will likely result," "forecast," "outlook," "projects," and similar expressions. Forward-looking statements are based on management's current expectations and include known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors, many of which management is unable to predict or control, that may cause actual results, performance or achievements to differ materially from those expressed or implied in the forward-looking statements. Important factors which have impacted and could impact the Company's operations and results include:

(a) adverse changes in economic or industry conditions including global
supply and demand conditions and prices for products of the types we
produce;
(b) the ability to compete effectively on product performance, quality,
price, availability, product development, and customer service;
(c) material adverse changes in the markets we serve, including the
packaging, transportation, building and construction, recreation and
leisure, and other markets, some of which tend to be cyclical;
(d) our inability to achieve the level of cost savings, productivity
improvements, synergies, growth or other benefits anticipated from
acquired businesses and their integration;
(e) volatility of prices and availability of supply of energy and of the
raw materials that are critical to the manufacture of our products,
particularly plastic resins derived from oil and natural gas,
including future effects of natural disasters;
(f) our inability to manage or pass through an adequate level of
increases to customers in the costs of materials, freight, utilities,
or other conversion costs;
(g) our inability to predict accurately the costs to be incurred or
savings to be achieved in connection with announced production plant
restructurings;
(h) adverse findings in significant legal or environmental proceedings or
our inability to comply with applicable environmental laws and
regulations;
(i) adverse developments with work stoppages or labor disruptions,
particularly in the automotive industry;
(j) our inability to achieve operational efficiency goals or cost
reduction initiatives;
(k) our inability to develop and launch new products successfully,
(l) restrictions imposed on us by instruments governing our indebtedness,
and the possible inability to comply with requirements of those
instruments;
(m) possible weaknesses in our internal controls; and
(n) our ability to successfully complete the implementation of a new
enterprise resource planning computer system.

We assume no duty to update our forward-looking statements, except as required by law.

Source: Spartech Corporation

biz.yahoo.com

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To: richardred who wrote (1964)3/19/2008 12:55:43 PM
From: richardred
   of 6101
 
CollaGenex Buyout Moves Toward Close
Wednesday March 19, 10:30 am ET
Galderma Moves Toward Closing CollaGenex Buyout As Antitrust Waiting Period Expires

NEWTOWN, Pa. (AP) -- Galderma Pharma SA's proposed acquisition of CollaGenex Pharmaceuticals Inc. moved a step closer to completion Wednesday as the waiting period required under U.S. antitrust law expired.

The cash tender offer of $16.60 per share began on March 7 and will expire on April 4.

In a tender offer, the purchaser makes a public offer to acquire shares in a corporation at a set price and during a set offer period. Some tenders offers are conditioned upon shareholders agreeing to sell a certain percentage of outstanding shares to the purchaser.

Both CollaGenex and Galderma focus on developing dermatological products. Galderma is a privately-held joint venture between Nestle and L'Oreal.

CollaGenex shares rose 6 cents to $16.54 in morning trading.

biz.yahoo.com

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From: richardred3/20/2008 11:42:19 AM
   of 6101
 
The Rate of M&A Activity in the Transport and Logistics Industry Has Increased in 2007, and Will Continue to Rise in 2008
Thursday March 20, 10:00 am ET

DUBLIN, Ireland--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Research and Markets (http://www.researchandmarkets.com/reports/c86492) has announced the addition of Financial Deal Insights Transport and Logistics Q1 2007 to their offering.

The drive to improve scale and profits combined with a highly fragmented market have resulted in continued M&A in the Transport and Logistics sector. The monthly Financial Deal Insights series provides a concise yet comprehensive overview of this activity in this sector. It offers a unique insight into both deal activity, deal rationale and the market fundamentals driving the sector.

Scope

- An assessment of recent M&A activity in the Transport and Logistics sector throughout the world.

- An evaluation of the trends both within the Transport and Logistics sector as a whole, as well as individual deals.

Highlights of this title

The rate of M&A activity in the Transport and Logistics industry has increased in 2007, and will continue to rise in 2008 as a result of the current environment and the requirement for global supply chains and one-stop logistics shops.

The number of deals, both large and small, has been significant in H2 2007 and this brand of consolidation within the industry has created more opportunities for companies to offer a wider portfolio of transport services to their customers across different geographies.

The advent of capital being poured into the Transport and Logistics markets and this rush of investors is not specific to a single transport mode or service; there is demand for different types of players, from SCM technology providers to traditional air-freight forwarders and trucking companies.

Key reasons to purchase this title

- Understand the recent trends within M&A in the Transport and Logistics sector.

- Gain a detailed understanding of the market context behind factors driving both the sector as a whole and individual deals.

- Gain an overview of deal trends on a historical basis and the progress of individual deals as they happen.

Content Outline:

OUR VIEW

CATALYST

SUMMARY

A busy second half of 2007 for the Transportation and Logistics Industry

Convergence across geographies and services

Both small and large financial deals well-spread across the globe

Market fragmentation, global trade and capex to drive consolidation going forward

APPENDIX

Definitions

Ask the analyst

Disclaimer

List of Figures

Figure 1: Financial Deal Volume Trend in Transport and Logistics Sector (July-December)

Figure 2: Transport and Logistics Deal Activity by Value (USD Billion, % share)

Figure 3: Financial Deal Volume (nos.) by Size and Month

Figure 4: Transport and Logistics Deal Trend by Stake Size/Type

For more information visit researchandmarkets.com

Source: Datamonitor

Contact:

Research and Markets
Laura Wood
Senior Manager
Fax: +353 1 4100 980
press@researchandmarkets.com

Source: Research and Markets
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To: richardred who wrote (1656)3/20/2008 5:18:26 PM
From: richardred
   of 6101
 
Saint-Gobain's Acquisitions in 2007
Thursday March 20, 4:41 pm ET
70 Acquisitions Representing a Financial Investment of EUR965 Million for Estimated Additional Sales of Almost EUR1.7 Billion

COURBEVOIE, France, March 20 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- This press release details the acquisitions carried out by the Group in 2007, particularly those that were not specifically announced at the time. It does not include details of the Maxit acquisition, which was announced in August 2007 and finalized in March 2008.

In line with its strategic focus of developing business on construction markets, Saint-Gobain's growth momentum continued to be boosted by bolt-on acquisitions in 2007. More than 80% of these acquisitions were in the Building Distribution and Construction Products sectors.

Overview of 2007 acquisitions

Acquisitions in 2007 Number of Value of (Debt) Estimated
acquisitions securities or cash full-year
(EUR millions) acquired assumed sales
Building Distribution 53 582 (3) 1,304
Construction Products 10 248 1 332
Innovative Materials 7 89 (2) 61
Packaging 0 (a) 46 2 0 (a)
Total acquisitions 70 965 (2) 1,697

(a) This transaction does not represent an acquisition but the
retention of a 20% stake in Desjonqueres further to the sale of the
Group's Flasks business.

- Building Distribution: financial investment of EUR582 million for around EUR1.3 billion in estimated additional full-year sales

The 53 acquisitions carried out by the Building Distribution Sector in 2007 added 291 new outlets to a network that now boasts more than 4,000. The largest acquisition was Norandex, a manufacturer and distributor of vinyl sidings in the US, representing a financial investment of EUR181 million for EUR580 million in estimated full-year sales.

France - 16 acquisitions representing EUR98 million in estimated full- year sales

The main acquisitions in France concerned specialist distributors SESCO and SRDM (plumbing and heating), Cordier (roofing) and Malet (production and distribution of ready-to-use concrete) and the builders' merchant Fabre.

United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland - 8 acquisitions representing EUR121 million in estimated full-year sales

The largest acquisitions in the UK and the Republic of Ireland were builders' merchant Norman Jersey, builders' merchant Parkhead Building in Scotland; Trusses to Trust, a roofing and wooden floor specialist; ARDS Timber in Ulster; and Lonergan Hardware in the Republic of Ireland.

Italy and Spain - 8 acquisitions representing EUR160 million in estimated full-year sales

The Building Distribution sector acquired Vemac in Italy, a major builders' merchant in the Abruzzo region, and Discesur (Distribuciones Ceramicas Sur Madrid), Spain's second largest tiling distributor.

Nordic countries - 11 acquisitions representing EUR89 million in estimated full-year sales

In Sweden, the three largest acquisitions were builders' merchants Trifab Byggvaror, Byggkop i Vastra and Andersson Tra while, in Norway, Norgesbygg Hallingdal, Bringo Bygg and BM Holveriet joined Optimera's Scandinavian network.

Germany - 5 acquisitions representing EUR129 million in estimated full-year sales

Raab Karcher's acquisitions included civil construction works specialist Schulte Tiefbau, tiling specialist Jean Dern, and roofing specialists Griesinger and Schafer.

Other countries - 4 acquisitions representing EUR127 million in estimated full-year sales

The main acquisitions were carried out in the Netherlands (a general distributor Van Keulen based in Amsterdam, and a plumbing and heating specialist Galvano), and in the Czech Republic (tiling distributor Keramont).

- Construction Products (CP): financial investment of EUR248 million for EUR332 million in estimated additional full-year sales

Interior Solutions: 5 acquisitions, of which:

2 in Insulation:

- FiberGlass Colombia, glass wool and plasterboard manufacturer in Colombia,

- Owens Corning South Africa, manufacturer of glass wool in South Africa.

3 in Gypsum:

- Scanspac, a Scandinavian plasterboard manufacturer,

- In Vietnam, the division acquired the country's leading manufacturer of plasterboard,

- EPD, an Algerian manufacturer of gypsum products.

Exterior Solutions: 5 acquisitions

- Norandex in North America (manufacturer of vinyl sidings),

- 4 small-scale mortar manufacturers in emerging countries (Brazil, Turkey, Serbia and Malaysia).

- Innovative Materials: financial investment of EUR89 million for EUR61 million in estimated additional full-year sales

The Flat Glass Sector carried out three small-scale acquisitions in 2007, including two in the automotive industry, and one in the building industry (Estonian outfit AS Mao Klass), allowing Saint-Gobain Glass Solutions to consolidate its leadership in this market.

The High-Performance Materials Sector acquired four companies, mainly in the field of high-performance plastics.

- Packaging: financial investment of EUR46 million

The Packaging Sector retained a 20% stake in Desjonqueres in accordance with the sale agreement signed with the Sagard and Cognetas funds in March 2007.

Investor Relations Department

Florence Triou-Teixeira Tel.: +33-1-47-62-45-19
Alexandre Etuy Tel.: +33-1-47-62-37-15
Vivien Dardel Tel.: +33-1-47-62-44-29
Fax: +33-1-47-62-50-62

Source: Saint-Gobain
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To: richardred who wrote (2015)3/22/2008 10:52:22 AM
From: richardred
   of 6101
 
Schulman hires help for strategy

UBS Investment Bank to aid in looking at sale, merger, boosting stock

By Jim Mackinnon
Beacon Journal business writer

Published on Tuesday, Mar 18, 2008

A. Schulman Inc. has hired UBS Investment Bank to help decide whether to put the Fairlawn polymer company up for sale, merge with another firm or to make a major acquisition.

Schulman, a $1.8 billion-a-year plastics compounder and resin maker, on Monday said UBS will act as its strategic financial advisor.

''This is the latest step in the ongoing process of evaluating all alternatives available to the company to maximize stockholder value,'' Joseph M. Gingo, chairman, president and chief executive officer, said in a prepared statement. ''We will also continue to move ahead with our operational initiatives to transform our business and position A. Schulman for long-term, profitable growth.''

The announcement is part of a plan pushed by dissident shareholders and hedge funds to improve A. Schulman's profitability and boost its stock price.

Gingo, a former top Goodyear executive and Schulman director, was hired effective Jan. 1 to run the company. His predecessor, long-time CEO and Chairman Terry Haines, retired as part of an agreement with shareholder Jim Mitarotonda, a Schulman director and hedge fund manager who owns a significant amount of shares. As part of that agreement, the company agreed to explore strategic options, including putting A.

Schulman up for sale.

Another significant shareholder, hedge fund Ramius Capital Group, has been pressuring company management to make changes, including exploring a sale, to increase the stock price. The fund waged a successful proxy contest earlier this year to elect two of its nominees to the Schulman board.

Shares of Schulman fell 30 cents to $19.75 on Monday. Shares are down 7.7 percent since Jan. 1, including reinvested dividends, and are down 2.6 percent from a year ago.

Shortly after becoming CEO, Gingo announced a 100-day plan to improve Schulman's performance.

The plan calls for more efficient North American manufacturing, including potential restructuring; more focus on Schulman's ''polybatch'' and engineered compounds segments; the reassessment of North American automotive operations; suspension of capital expenditures on its new multilayer plastic ''Invision'' sheet product until it gets a better marketing strategy; changes in European sales and administrative operations, and the examination of Schulman's leadership team.

As part of that, the company in February announced it will close a factory in St. Thomas, Ontario, and sell its Orange, Texas, facility to consolidate production and exit low-margin businesses.

The moves are expected to save $6 million to $7 million in fiscal 2009 and an estimated $9 million to $10 million annually in fiscal 2010.

Jim Mackinnon can be reached at 330-996-3544 or jmackinnon@thebeaconjournal.com.

A. Schulman Inc. has hired UBS Investment Bank to help decide whether to put the Fairlawn polymer company up for sale, merge with another firm or to make a major acquisition.

Schulman, a $1.8 billion-a-year plastics compounder and resin maker, on Monday said UBS will act as its strategic financial advisor.

''This is the latest step in the ongoing process of evaluating all alternatives available to the company to maximize stockholder value,'' Joseph M. Gingo, chairman, president and chief executive officer, said in a prepared statement. ''We will also continue to move ahead with our operational initiatives to transform our business and position A. Schulman for long-term, profitable growth.''

The announcement is part of a plan pushed by dissident shareholders and hedge funds to improve A. Schulman's profitability and boost its stock price.

Gingo, a former top Goodyear executive and Schulman director, was hired effective Jan. 1 to run the company. His predecessor, long-time CEO and Chairman Terry Haines, retired as part of an agreement with shareholder Jim Mitarotonda, a Schulman director and hedge fund manager who owns a significant amount of shares. As part of that agreement, the company agreed to explore strategic options, including putting A.

Schulman up for sale.

Another significant shareholder, hedge fund Ramius Capital Group, has been pressuring company management to make changes, including exploring a sale, to increase the stock price. The fund waged a successful proxy contest earlier this year to elect two of its nominees to the Schulman board.

Shares of Schulman fell 30 cents to $19.75 on Monday. Shares are down 7.7 percent since Jan. 1, including reinvested dividends, and are down 2.6 percent from a year ago.

Shortly after becoming CEO, Gingo announced a 100-day plan to improve Schulman's performance.

The plan calls for more efficient North American manufacturing, including potential restructuring; more focus on Schulman's ''polybatch'' and engineered compounds segments; the reassessment of North American automotive operations; suspension of capital expenditures on its new multilayer plastic ''Invision'' sheet product until it gets a better marketing strategy; changes in European sales and administrative operations, and the examination of Schulman's leadership team.

As part of that, the company in February announced it will close a factory in St. Thomas, Ontario, and sell its Orange, Texas, facility to consolidate production and exit low-margin businesses.

The moves are expected to save $6 million to $7 million in fiscal 2009 and an estimated $9 million to $10 million annually in fiscal 2010.

Jim Mackinnon can be reached at 330-996-3544 or jmackinnon@thebeaconjournal.com.
ohio.com

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