OM Group sells precious metals for $752.2 million

OM Group announced today that it has entered into a definitive agreement to sell its precious metals business to Belgium’s Umicore for $752.2 million in cash.

OM Group announced today that it has entered into a definitive agreement to sell its Precious Metals business to Belgium’s Umicore for approximately $752 million in cash. The transaction is expected to result in net proceeds of approximately $700 million. OMG plans to use the net proceeds to reduce debt.

The sale includes OMG’s automotive catalysts, fuel cells, precious metals chemistry, technical materials, jewellery and electroplating businesses, as well as its metals management business. For the year ended December 31, 2002, the combined sales of these businesses totalled $4.4 billion, with operating profit of $78 million.

The company, based in Cleveland, Ohio anticipates that the proposed sale, which is subject to customary US and European regulatory approvals, will close sometime in the third quarter of 2003.

‘Completing the sale of the Precious Metals business will be a major milestone in the strategic plan announced to investors in December 2002,’ said James P. Mooney, chairman and chief executive officer of OM Group. ‘It will strengthen our balance sheet and allow the company to focus on continuing to increase the profitability of our Base Metals businesses.’

OMG announced in a separate statement this morning that it has signed a letter of intent to sell its PVC Heat Stabiliser product line for approximately $10 million in cash.

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