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DALGETY PLC INCREASED RETURN OF UP TO £675 MILLION TO SHAREHOLDERS

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The Board of Dalgety announces an increased return of up to £675 million (232.5 pence per share) to shareholders following the disposal of Dalgety Food Ingredients, Martin-Brower and Spillers Petfoods. The return will be effected through a capital reorganisation and the creation of a new holding company, proposed to be called PIC International Group PLC, which will acquire Dalgety PLC. The principal highlights are as follows:

  • For each Dalgety Share held, shareholders will receive
                    -  one PIC International Group Share
                    -  one Loan Note redeemable for up to
                       138 pence
                    -  94.5 pence in cash
      The Loan Notes were provided in view of the uncertainty
in the timing of EC clearance of the Spillers Petfoods disposal and the
Board's intention to repay cash to shareholders at the earliest opportunity.
However, clearance was successfully received on 2 April 1998, making the
disposal unconditional, and completion is scheduled for 1 May 1998
    It is now the Board's intention to redeem the Loan Notes upon the
Scheme becoming effective, with the redemption payment expected to be made on
26 June 1998
    Accordingly, the total cash that is expected to be paid to shareholders
on 26 June 1998 is 232.5 pence per share (approximately £675 million),
comprising the cash payment of 94.5 pence and 138 pence by redemption of the
Loan Notes
    PIC will be the focus for the future growth of the group.
The Board believes the market for improved breeding stock for the pig industry
has excellent growth prospects
    Discussions regarding a potential sale of Dalgety Agriculture are
continuing. If a sale of Dalgety Agriculture cannot be achieved at an
appropriate value, the Board will continue to pursue all options to restore
value
    In view of the above, the Board proposes to name the new
holding company, PIC International Group PLC
    The cash return to shareholders has been increased by
approximately £25 million, equating to 8.5 pence per Dalgety share. The Board
has decided to pay no final dividend
    The first dividend to be declared by PIC International
Group will be the interim dividend in respect of the year to 30 June 1999 to
be paid in May 1999
    The Board intends to establish a future dividend policy with cover of
between 2.5 and 3 times, which it considers appropriate in view of the Group's
growth characteristics

Commenting on today's announcement, the Chairman, Sir Denys Henderson, said:

"We have achieved excellent prices for DFI, Martin-Brower and Spillers Petfoods and I am pleased that this structure allows us to return substantial value to shareholders at the earliest opportunity. Going forward, PIC, the world's leading pig breeding and genetic improvement company, will be the key focus for the Group's growth. PIC is particularly well placed to grow by exploiting consolidation of the pig industry in developed markets, investment opportunities in emerging markets, increased research and development and innovative technology."

SOURCE Dalgety



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