Aliaxis enters into strategic alliance in Latin America

Press release -

Aliaxis has signed an agreement with the principal shareholders of Durman Esquivel S.A. (“Durman”), a plastic pipes and fittings business with its headquarters in Costa Rica.

Under this agreement, which is subject to the satisfaction of certain conditions, Aliaxis will launch a Public Tender Offer for the shares of Durman, following which a new joint venture company named Aliaxis Latinoamerica will be created, combining Aliaxis’ existing businesses in Latin America with the Durman group of companies, which are present mainly in northern Latin America. Following completion of the transaction, expected early in 2007, Aliaxis will have a share of 51% of the new company, with the existing principal shareholders of Durman holding the remaining 49%.

Durman, which was founded in Costa Rica in 1959, has grown rapidly in recent years. It is present in 11 countries and has operations throughout Central America, as well as in Mexico, Colombia, Peru, the Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico. In total, the business has 15 production plants and 33 distribution facilities in the region.

Aliaxis has existing operations in Argentina, Peru, Uruguay, Brazil and Mexico. In addition, it has a minority interest in a business in Chile, which will remain outside the new joint venture.

The combined businesses will have pro-forma sales of approximately US$ 330 million in 2006, will employ some 3,300 people, and will position Aliaxis as the third major player in pipes and fittings in Latin America.

The enlarged business combination of Aliaxis and Durman will progressively provide wider market opportunities for the products of both Durman and Aliaxis in Latin American markets. The excellent local market knowledge of Durman, combined with the expertise of Aliaxis in product development and manufacturing know-how, will create a strong platform for future growth throughout the region.

Francis Durman, currently head of Durman, will become the CEO of Aliaxis Latinoamerica, and the management of the enlarged business will be integrated under his leadership.